My players do not play dirty, says Eymael

Luc Eymael hints at signing Ke Yona Team players.
Luc Eymael hints at signing Ke Yona Team players.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu / BackpagePix

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael feels that criticism of his players Makhehleni Makhaula and Paulus Masehe over dangerous tackles is unfair as the incidents were not intentional.

Makhaula came under fire for breaking Joseph Molangoane's leg in Stars' MTN8 quarterfinal loss to Kaizer Chiefs last month. Masehe also received a backlash for his strong challenge on Roland Putsche of Cape Town City a fortnight ago.

Eymael said: "Was Makhaula punished [for his leg-breaking tackle of Molangoane]? No.

"The referee saw that it was unintentional. It is the nature of football. I think people are being unfair on my players."

The Stars tactician says when it is his players who are on the receiving end of strong tackles, people turn a blind eye. Eymael explains that Makhaula was the victim of a menacing challenge by a Bidvest Wits player last season but nobody talked about it. "When Makhaula was injured by a Bidvest Wits player in a dangerous tackle last season nobody said anything. You can criticise but these things also happen to my players.

"Even Masehe on Putsche was a 50/50 challenge."

Ea Lla Koto beat Ke Yona Team 2-1 in the Ke Yona Challenge Cup at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, East Rand, on Sunday. The annual tournament pits winners of the Nedbank Cup against a select squad of aspiring footballers.

Eymael was impressed by the performance of the Ke Yona Team, revealing that he spoke to Shakes Mashaba, one of the Ke Yona Team coaches, about the possibility of signing one or two of these budding stars.

The Stars' mentor next faces former club Polokwane City when the league action resumes on Saturday.

The no-nonsense Belgian coach, who has a strained relationship with Rise and Shine, expects a difficult encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

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