Ertugral backtracks on youth


The Urban Warriors secured their first win of the season last night when they beat Free State Stars 1-0 at Cape Town Stadium, with Ertugral fielding considerably fewer rookies than he has in recent months.

Of the six or seven promising youngsters at his disposal, the Turk elected to start with only Abbubaker Mobara and Bantu Mzwakali last night, the rest of the team all with vast experience.

And while the Cape side were far from their best, Ertugral was happy to take the scrappy win, which saw the hosts finding enough maturity and focus within themselves to successfully close out a tight game.

“We put three in front of our back four in the last 20 minutes,” Ertugral explains, “we just blocked the game totally and tried to counter. It was ugly, not nice, but the three points were the most important thing.

“It is nice to develop youngsters, but at this point in time the pressure is so big. They want to prove a point, but you see in training sessions, the guys have not been there.

“I see them week in week out, they are really good players. But the demands of PSL [are high] – the PSL is a bit different. It will take a while for the youngsters, maybe six in at one time is too much. Today we had enough [senior] players in, and that’s why [we got the win],” the Ajax manager says.

The Urban Warriors can now go into their clash with University of Pretoria on Saturday in a more upbeat mood, having finally moved off the foot of the table and up into 13th spot.

“For the boys, for me, I know the win was very welcome. For this team, for the new owners, for the club’s expectations, for the youngsters, all that we have been through it was tremendously important,” Ertugral adds.