Posted in News, Team News on Apr 01, 2023.
On the state of the Chiefs squad coming back from the international break:
The team is in a good state (fitness wise), though our worry was that this international break might break our momentum as well. But we come back from this international break with a lot of players fully recovered from knocks and niggling injuries. We are missing those who are suspended and those on long-term injury layoffs, like Khama (Billiat) and Tower (Erick Mathoho), who are battling with fitness. (Phathutshedzo) Nange has a family bereavement, while Cole (Alexander) and Reeve Frosler are also not ready to return to play, as yet. But, as for the rest of the guys, they are available for selection. We welcome back Siya (Ngezana), who was suspended for our previous game.
On the players returning from international duty:
Everyone is back. We had four players on national team duty. Mduduzi Shabalala and Samkelo Zwane were with the national under 23 team, while Caleb Bimenyimana and Edmilson Dove also went to represent their countries.
On how the team has prepared for their return to league action:
We played a practice game against TS Galaxy, which was much needed for us, just to keep the momentum going. Everyone is raring to go and ready for the game.
On the challenge from opponents Stellenbosch FC:
We are playing against a team that has been playing very well and winning games left, right and centre. Their confidence is sky high and we expect a team that will definitely come out guns blazing, expecting to get maximum points from us. We are ready for them, the only thing, obviously, will be momentum, as we have not played competitive games. We will see where we are, but we are hoping for the best and hoping we will grind out the result.
On keeping a good run of form and results going:
It's important for us to continue where we left off. We obviously want to keep the momentum going. Winning four games on the trot has obviously been good for us in keeping the morale high in the squad. The guys have worked very hard in preparation for the next game. We want to make it five, and make winning our habit. We are on the right track and will take it one game at a time.
On keeping healthy competition in the Chiefs squad:
It's very key to keep everyone physically and mentally ready to compete. We have had one versus one sessions to help players see where they are and to help those who are a little left behind, because it’s very important for the squad balance to have happy players. Sometimes it’s not possible, but its manageable, especially when you are going to have everyone available for selection and raring to go. It will be a healthy headache. It’s good to see guys who are raring to go and looking to help the team and add their value individually and collectively. It’s a plus, and that’s the headache we are looking for as coaches. That will help the team get the desired results and keep us moving forward, because we have been blowing hot and cold. Once we have this kind of healthy competition within the squad, it will help the players not to relax.
On the competition for first team places:
Whoever is playing regularly will be looking to continue performing week in and week out. Those who are waiting in the wings will be looking for their opportunity to rise. That’s the competition we want to create. It’s getting towards the end of the season now, but there are a lot of games at hand and there is a lot at stake. We are getting there, steadily but surely, for the sake that we are eyeing that second spot and stand a good chance of going all the way to the final (of the Nedbank Cup) and winning it. We remain positive and optimistic we are getting things right and can keep on getting the results.