SA sides enjoy Swazi experience

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Amabinneplaas, the national development team, reckon they had a fruitful trip to Swaziland this past weekend.

This is according to team coach Serame Letsoaka, whose intention of taking part in Swaziland's 40/40 celebrations was to prepare for the two-legged qualifying matches against Zimbabwe next month in the African Nations Championships.

The first match against Isihlangu, which the South Africans lost 2-1, was played on Thursday. But Letsoaka's troops improved their performance in the showpiece on Saturday in front of thousands of people, and won 1-0.

David Radebe scored in both matches.

"We went there to try out new combinations and things went well. It was not easy to replace the players we lost, but the boys are very capable," said Letsoaka.

Letsoaka said he was hankering after one more friendly before their date against the Zimbabweans.

Meanwhile, Platinum Stars also went to play in Swaziland this weekend. The Tycoons won their friendly match against Royal Leopards 1-0, with Luis Renteria scoring.

The matches caused a minor storm after the South African Football Players Union issued a statement condemning the participation of players and Safa in these celebrations.

Before , the union had not informed their president, Stars' striker Hareaipha "Simba" Marumo about the statement. Marumo, who did not travel with his team, reacted with shock when contacted for comment.

"It is clear that my colleagues neglected to inform me about this statement. My first allegiance is obviously to the club, but I am obviously in the dark on the issue," Marumo said.

Explaining why Marumo did not accompany the team, club public relations officer Putco Mafani said the player, Godfrey Sapula and Stanley Kgatla "were rested so as to give the fringe players a chance to shine".