'It's like Stars evaporated into thin air'

Eleazar Rodgers says the Free State Stars changing room was so silent following their relegation that one could have thought there was no one inside.

A 1-0 loss at home to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday officially sent the Betlehem side to the National First Division.

Ea Lla Koto finished the 2018/19 season at the bottom of the 16-team Absa Premiership table with 27 points, with only goal difference separating them from 15th-placed Maritzburg United, who survive another day to contest the playoffs.

"What can I say, I'm lost for words," Rodgers tells KickOff.com.

"It's sad for so many reasons but we cannot put ourselves down when in fact we really pushed hard to survive... in the end it never came. I don't think there's anything to put our finger on as solid proof to explain the difficult time we had leading to us falling short.

"No team is perfect. All teams have positives and negatives. In the end it's a battle to win and a battle to survive. It's unfortunate that we could not qualify to stay up."

Rodgers describes the mood in the team's changing room after the final whistle.

"It was like everybody evaporated into thin air and went missing. We could not believe that it had happened, I'm sure it's still sinking in. It will take time to move past this, nevertheless we accept it. There have been no words yet [from the management and technical team]."

The striker was not prepared to comment on whether he plans to go down with the team to the National First Division or stay in the top-flight with another club. 

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