Coach knows scouts will be looking for players who show great talent
Even though the CAF Confederation Cup is not as glamorous as its sibling, the Champions League, the second-tier continental club competition offers an almost equal opportunity for the players to be scouted.
This is how TS Galaxy head coach Dan “Dance” Malesela psyched up his charges ahead of their debut in the continental interclub tournament.
The journey continues for the Mpumalanga-based outfit, who will resume their campaign at home against CNaPS Sport of Madagascar this afternoon.
“The players are well aware of the importance of taking this kind of competition seriously because there are scouts who could possibly be following them,” said Malesela ahead of the first-round, first-leg fixture at Mbombela Stadium at 3pm.
He said it did not bother him that Galaxy know virtually nothing about their opponents from the Indian Ocean island.
“I prefer not to watch them because things always turn out differently, unless it’s when we get to further stages against a familiar opponent, as they would not normally change much of their style of play. So the first leg always gives an idea on what to do in the return leg.”
Malesela emphasised that victory was important to have an advantage heading into the reverse fixture in a fortnight.
“If we score and they don’t, then we have big a advantage as we did in the Seychelles,” he said in reference to their win over St Louis, whom they beat 1-0 home and away in the preliminary round.
Galaxy might have played just two matches in the competition, but Malesela said it had been a journey of many lessons – from playing on a rundown artificial pitch in the Seychelles to being transported in a truck.
“These are the things you prepare your players mentally for; to make them aware of what’s going to happen. You have to conscientise them about other things, such as [biased] referees. It’s not that bad when you play at home,” he said.
Malesela pointed out that Galaxy, who harbour hopes of promotion from the GladAfrica Championship to the Absa Premiership, were “not really setting any targets on how far we want to go” in the Confederation Cup.
“It will always be good to go all the way. I am always drawing strength from Mamelodi Sundowns – if they play and still survive so many competitions, and we actually have fewer, we can too.
“I told Pitso [Mosimane, Sundowns’ coach] that I’ll talk to him as soon as I get frustrated. It’s only healthy to do that.
“We actually asked the physical trainer at Sundowns [Kabelo Rangoaga] how they do it because of the long travelling hours and being able to recover.”
Malesela said it took his team 14 hours to reach the Seychelles in their last trip, a journey that included a stopover in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
Galaxy are yet to win on the domestic front after they drew their opening two matches against Jomo Cosmos (0-0) and Real Kings (1-1). But the Nedbank Cup champions lifted another trophy last weekend when they won the Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge.