Jozi Stars assistant coach Wandile Gwavu has admitted defending the Mzansi Super League in 2019 title will be tougher than last year’s inaugural triumph.
The Stars are the reigning champions after beating the Cape Town Blitz in the 2018 final, but have lost former captain Dane Vilas to the Durban Heat, and former head coach Enoch Nkwe has been replaced by Barbadian Donovan Miller.
‘I think it’s always going to be difficult staying at the top. Getting to the top for me is always the easy part, but of course now there’s going to be a lot of challengers to our crown,’ said Gwavu.
‘Staying at the top will be tough, but we’re up for the challenge and we’re confident of doing well again this year.’
The Stars have retained international marquee player Chris Gayle, local marquee player Kagiso Rabada, Proteas pair Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks and others. Batsman Temba Bavuma, spinner Aaron Phangiso and seamer Lizaad Williams, meanwhile, are among their new arrivals.
‘I think we got most of the guys that we were looking for and that makes for a relatively balanced side. I would love to think that we did a little bit better than last season at the draft,’ added Gwavu.
‘But everybody knows that what you have on paper and how you end up playing on the field is totally two different things. I do think we have the players that can do the job and we’re going to back them all the way.’
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