Free State Stars coach Kinnah Phiri expects his team to redeem themselves by challenging for a top-eight position in the Premiership next season.
Ea Lla Koto have had to fight off relegation in the past two seasons, with the team’s performances dogged by inconsistency.
Some level of stability was reached when Phiri took over the coaching duties from Tom Saintfiet, and last term saw Stars avoid demotion to the National First Division with a miraculous late climb up the table that ended with a ninth-placed finish.
“Towards the end of last season, we showed what we are capable of and we want to continue that form next season,” Phiri told Football411.
“We don’t want to be fighting relegation anymore and this coming season we need to be more competitive.
“During the off-season we have managed to bring in a number of good players from the NFD and Vodacom League.
“We started our pre-season earlier than normal because we felt that it was important to maintain that form that we showed late in the season and also work on some of our weaknesses.
“The players now understand my football philosophy after most of them could not adapt at first because they were playing in a low intensity with the previous coach.”