Wednesday Aug 05, 2020. 13:00
Baroka FC coach Dylan Kerr has revealed that he would have liked three more weeks of training to prepare for his team’s upcoming Nedbank Cup clash with Bloemfontein Celtic.
The meeting of Baroka and Celtic at Orlando Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 8 August will be the first match played in South Africa since coronavirus lockdown regulations came into effect back in March.
Kerr says fans watching at home (as all matches will be played behind closed doors going forward) should not expect a top-level Premier Soccer League (PSL) match when the teams will have had no competitive action and very little training.
“You cannot have four-and-a-half months without kicking a football‚ and then come back to training and play at a level that I would be happy with‚ the chairman would be happy‚ and that the fans would be happy watching‚” Kerr told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association, as quoted by Sowetan Live.
“And we’ve seen it with La Liga‚ the Bundesliga and the EPL [Premier League]. A lot of top players have been missing form certain games. It’s affected a lot of clubs‚ especially those at the bottom‚ which is where we are in the PSL.
“And if I lose two‚ three‚ four main players I’ve only got youngsters to turn to who have not got experience. Especially playing two games a week‚ in such a small period of time.
“It’s going to be tough. I’m not ready yet. I’m not happy playing my first game on Saturday knowing that I should have three weeks more to get my team in the shape‚ and the mentality of these players‚ to play in these games.
“And it’s just going to be who can survive the fittest in the 90 minutes‚ and who wants it most to get to the final of the Nedbank Cup.
“It’s about having the better heart‚ being tough upstairs‚ and making sure that when you’ve got the ball don’t give it away‚ because the last thing you want to be doing is chasing.”
The winner of the Baroka v Celtic match will advance to the final in September and face either Mamelodi Sundowns or Bidvest Wits.