Baroka FC coach Dylan Kerr has revealed that his team is not yet ready for Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semi-final match against Bloemfontein Celtic.
Since Covid-19 lockdown regulations came into effect back in March, Baroka and Celtic’s match on Saturday 8 August will be the first return of football in South Africa at Orlando Stadium, before Mamelodi Sundowns take on Bidvest Wits a few hours later at the same venue.
Kerr said fans watching at home (as all matches will be played behind closed doors going forward) should not expect a top-level Premier Soccer League (PSL) match when the teams will have had no competitive action and very little training.
“You cannot have four-and-a-half months without kicking a football‚ and then come back to training and play at a level that I would be happy with‚ the chairman would be happy‚ and that the fans would be happy watching‚” the coach said in an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association, reported by Sowetan Live.
He added that if he loses three or four main players he would have no other option but to resort to the inexperienced young stars.
“It’s going to be tough. I’m not ready yet. I’m not happy playing my first game on Saturday knowing that I should have three weeks more to get my team in the shape‚ and the mentality of these players‚ to play in these games. And it’s just going to be who can survive the fittest in the 90 minutes‚ and who wants it most to get to the final of the Nedbank Cup.”
The winner of the Baroka v Celtic match will advance to the final in September where they will face either Mamelodi Sundowns or Bidvest Wits.