Team management in talks to get some of Sundowns' players on loan

Swallows geared up for first top-flight tie in five years

22 October 2020 - 09:12
By Charles Baloyi
Khanyisani Ndlovu of Steenberg United is seen here challenging Lebohang Mokoena of Swallows FC during an NFD match last season. The Birds face Stellenbosch in their first match in the top flight since 2015 on Sunday.
Image: SYDNEY MAHLANGU Khanyisani Ndlovu of Steenberg United is seen here challenging Lebohang Mokoena of Swallows FC during an NFD match last season. The Birds face Stellenbosch in their first match in the top flight since 2015 on Sunday.

The long wait for newly promoted Swallows to make their debut in the DStv Premiership 2020-21 season is finally over. The Birds take on Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium, Western Cape, on Sunday (3.30pm).

Swallows suffered relegation in the 2014-15 season and returned to the top flight division by winning the GladAfrica Championship title in the 2019-20 season. Club chairman David Mogashoa, head coach Brandon Truter and the sponsors have been locked in meetings all day yesterday to discuss the return of the Birds.

Only 165 members of their team can travel to Stellenbosch, and the rest will watch the game on TV. The chairman is not traveling with them but will invite a few guests to watch the match against Stellenbosch, a first in five years for the club steeped in history.

"I hope not to break my TV due to frustration and want to celebrate a win instead. We prepared everything starting with the kit, booking plane tickets, and bringing in psychologists to give players counselling for the big day. We are all nervous and do not know what to expect.

"I will go to church first as we are playing on a Sunday afternoon and then pray that we must not lose the game. We are targeting a draw or a win. We will not let our fans down on such a special day," he said.

Swallows will pin their hopes on Lebogang Mokoena, Vuyo Mere, and Thabo Matlaba to win the game. Truter has roped in former Orlando Pirates defender Kamaal Sait as his assistant coach.

Mogashoa revealed that the mandate of the coach was to help them to finish in the top 8. “He will keep his job if he achieves that. We believe in him. We want to compete and not become a charity case, and he knows that,” said Magoshoa.

The Birds chairman added that Swallows were talking to Mamelodi Sundowns about acquiring some of their players on loan. “But salary issue is giving us a big headache. We cannot afford to pay them what Sundowns are paying them," he lamented.