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Stars coach surprised by sale talk

Posted: 7 February 2018 Time: 08:30

Coach Brandon Truter was surprised to hear that Cape Town All Stars is being sold to Swallows FC, but is trying not to be distracted by the talk as his men prepare to face Mamelodi Sundowns.

Reports emerged on Friday that fourth-tier club Swallows - formerly Soweto giants Moroka Swallows - had bought the National First Division status of All Stars, as the ‘Dube Birds’ look to get back into the big time.

The PSL is yet to approve the sale, yet head coach Truter admits the news has been surprising and unsettling for his charges.

“When the news broke on Friday, we were about to step into a team meeting, so all my man-management skills had to come to the fore,” he said. “It came as a surprise to us, and it’s a blow: it affects the players’ mentality in terms of where to now and their future, what lies ahead.”

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Over and above the off-field drama, Stars are busy preparing for their high-profile Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash against Sundowns, with Truter trying his utmost to put the news at the back of his squad’s thoughts as they prepare to battle the Brazilians.

“As we sit here, we’ve basically got feedback from the CEO, who hasn’t addressed the squad as yet on the way forward,” he said. “As it stands, it’s his club, he has the right to sell – we don’t have any input in that regard. At this stage it’s about the players putting it behind us and moving forward – this game is a perfect opportunity to show themselves and put themselves in the market and on the map.

“Yesterday at training we spoke about it, and I’m confident we’ve put it behind us and will move forward from here.”

Truter says he understands the nature of the game in the NFD, but felt his side were looking good for a strong finish in the league from their current 10th spot – just seven points behind second-placed play-off contenders Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC.

“I still think that with 10 games to go and 30 games to play for, the club is still in a position to challenge for the play-offs, and if Highlands Park hit a bad patch, we can still challenge for automatic promotion,” Truter argued. “But it’s not just our owner, every owner in the NFD expects instant results, and there’s not much patience where there is concern. I, with my technical team, thought we were on the right track, so it [the sale] definitely came as a surprise.”

Article by: Fabio De Dominicis

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