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Luc Eymael wants Free State Stars to test themselves on the continent

Posted: 17 May 2018 Time: 09:00

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael says South African clubs should never complain about playing on the continent, as he looks to help Ea Lla Koto qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup.

Winning the Nedbank Cup trophy in the Mother City on Saturday would book Stars a place in next year’s Confederation Cup, which would be a first in their history.

Ea Lla Koto take on Maritzburg United in the final at Cape Town Stadium (19h00), with both teams looking to win their first major trophies in the PSL era.

“I don’t know why people are complaining when they are playing in Africa. You know Champions League and Confederation Cup is the highest level, so do you complain when you are playing at the highest level? How can you not take this competition seriously?

“I will join Pitso [Mosimane] and say you are playing for your country. It’s sad that a country like South Africa only has two teams in the Champions League and two teams in the Confederation Cup. Why? Because of the rankings. I think this country has the nicest facilities in Africa, so we should have three teams in the Champions League and three teams in the Confederation Cup [Ed: CAF rules only allow a country to have a maximum of two teams in each competition]. When you compete at a high level, and you see that with Sundowns, you are gaining maturity and experience and it can only help your national team.”

Stars’ general manager Rantsi Mokoena said they’d do their best to represent the country, should they qualify for the continental club competition.

“From our side we’d love to win and winning the Nedbank Cup comes with playing in the Confed Cup. The truth is I can’t answer that question because we’ve never competed in Africa. It would be a first experience for us and [it's hard to] comment whether or not it’s worth it,” said Mokoena.

“We would obviously want to give it a shot, from a club and player point of view. Often people refer to us as small teams and if we want to get away from being referred to as a small team, we need to be competing in cup finals and we need to be on the African stage. It’s the club’s ambition to grow and this is part of our growth.”

Article by: Tshepang Mailwane
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