Battle to avoid big drop


Bartlett won't find the humour or the irony in that scenario because there is nothing funny about the position AmaTuks find themselves in.

The Pretoria side are rooted at the bottom of the table with 22 points from 29 matches, two points behind Maritzburg United just above them, with Jomo Cosmos also drawn into the fight to avoid relegation.

AmaTuks need nothing less than a win against Abafana Bes’thende as a draw or defeat will condemn them to the National First Division, ending their four-season-long stay in the Premier League.

Arrows, on the other hand, are fighting to keep their place in the top eight, which would be a remarkable finish in their first season back in the elite league.The last team to finish in the top eight a season after winning the NFD is AmaTuks.

That should make this match an interesting spectacle, with Bartlett driven to save AmaTuks and get one over the team he guided to promotion before being shown the door.Arrows boss Mato Madlala was harsh when questioned about Bartlett’s future amid the celebrations in Tembisa on May 10 (last year) when they lifted the NFD trophy at Makhulong Stadium.

”Shaun and I have a good working relationship,” Madlala said.”I don’t think he needs any of you to negotiate for him. We have a fantastic relationship and he wanted to finish the season and then we sit down and talk about the future.”

That sit-down resulted in Bartlett being axed in favour of Serame Letsoaka.It took seven months for Bartlett to find a job after Arrows released him at the end of June, with AmaTuks roping him in at the end of January.If he can get one over Arrows and help AmaTuks survive at least the automatic drop, then Bartlett will have the last laugh.

The Star

Original source: Battle to avoid big drop