Luc Eymael says he has been promised a budget by the Stars management

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael celebrates during the Nedbank Cup, Final match between Maritzburg United and Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael celebrates during the Nedbank Cup, Final match between Maritzburg United and Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael says he has been promised a budget by the club’s management to assemble a squad capable of competing seriously in the 2018-19 Caf Confederation Cup.

Stars qualified for continental competition for the first time by winning the Nedbank Cup final 1-0 against Maritzburg United on Saturday night‚ also Ea Lla Koto’s first trophy since 1994.

Eymael said he will not aim to increase the size of Stars’ compact squad‚ but will look to improve the quality and depth.

He said there were times in the past season‚ where Stars finished sixth in the Absa Premiership‚ where he felt he lost some quality making substitutions.

“I know it costs money to play in Africa. But it’s an honour to play in Africa‚” the coach said.

“You are not playing only for your club‚ you are playing for your province and your country.

“All these games are of a high level ‚ and in these games you can gain a lot of experience.

“It can only benefit your league and it can only benefit your national team.

“It’s certain that it costs money. I explained a bit to my management what we will face.

“Because I know the Champions League and Confederation Cup. I told them that we have to send somebody [ahead to check conditions]‚ that we have to be sure about the flights and all these things.

“It’s certain that we have to be financially strong.

“Mentally [you have to be strong] in Africa. You have to wait for your flights‚ you have to get your visas.

“If you go to Algeria and you have to take another plane (and) there will be a delay. You miss the plane so you will have to take a bus. I know all these things.

“But‚ yes‚ I have asked them [management] to reinforce the team. Because I don’t want to go into Africa and directly we are kicked out [of the competition].

“We will release some players. We will loan some players out. Some have been signed but not everybody.

“I will bring a winger‚ a foreign striker‚ a No.8 to replace Nhlanhla Vilakazi [who is joining AmaZulu] – an international player from Congo.

“I have said to the management that you don’t need to have a squad of 30 players. I prefer to have 22 or 23‚ but good quality.

“I have to sit with the management‚ because they promised me to bring some money to bring players to be able to do something in Africa.

“Because if we can reach the group stages we can also get some money [back].”

The next Confed Cup switches to a northern hemisphere calendar. It runs from December‚ after the 2018 competition’s final in November‚ to May.

PSL third-placed finishers Kaizer Chiefs take South Africa’s other spot.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X