Financial troubles could be behind lack of focus on continental tourney

Celtic send second-string side to face AS Maniema in Confed Cup

Neville Khoza Journalist
Abram Nteo coach of Bloemfontein Celtic
Abram Nteo coach of Bloemfontein Celtic
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

It seems Bloemfontein Celtic are not taking the CAF Confederation Cup seriously as they sent their fringe players to the Republic of Congo for their preliminary round fixture against AS Maniema Union on Sunday (3pm).

With the MTN8 final against Orlando Pirates on December 12 their next match, Phunya Sele Sele have decided to keep their focus on the bread and butter business rather than on doing well in the Confederation Cup.

The team that edged Black Leopards 1-0 at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium on Wednesday did not travel to Congo as they started their preparations for the final.

Even head coach John Maduka revealed that he is not travelling with the club to Congo, but his assistants Abram Nteo and Simon Gopane will lead the team on Sunday.

“I’m not going there because they are only coming back next week, on the third, so we will wait for them to come back,” Maduka said on TV after the game. “My two assistants are going there so they would be able to do the job.”

It is the first time that Celtic will participate in continental football. They secured their place in the competition after ending as runners-up in the Nedbank Cup.

With financial problems at the club well documented, this could be a reason the club don't want to go far in this competition.

Meanwhile, after registering his first victory of the season against Leopards, Maduka hopes this is a turning point after four matches without a win.

“The win means a lot. We’ve been looking for the first win and the first one at home is important for us. We wanted this one and now we can take it from there,” Maduka said.

“There are so many positives that we are taking out of the game. That was Celtic that was playing against Leopards.

“At least we can create a lot of chances and it is something now that we have to work on, to finish. And you could only win games if you score goals. At least one thing is good, we are creating chances now. We must make sure that we put them behind the net.”

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