Solinas welcomes selection headache

Premiership

Solinas made several changes following his side’s drubbing of Cape Town City last weekend ahead of their clash against Free State Stars last Wednesday, and this looked to have worked as they registered a 2-0 win at Goble Park.

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Their 2-0 victory over Usuthu this past weekend again saw six changes, with Man of the Match George Maluleka dropped completely from the matchday squad, while new signing Mario Booysen sat out after a solid debut.

The Italian tactician has since explained some of the noticeable changes, and admitted he faces a tough selection headache as he tries to juggle a 32-man squad.

“Mario came from injury and hasn’t played for a long time. He played 90 minutes [last] Tuesday against Free State Stars, so this week I preferred to rotate the players,” said Solinas.

“But I’m happy about Mario because on Tuesday his performance was very positive. Also, George played well, but [against AmaZulu] he never played because he felt a pain with an ankle injury. 

“This is the reason why these players never played. It’s also difficult for me, because I have a lot of good players. The rules are 11 players play and seven on the bench – these are the rules.

“You know how many players I have in the squad? Thirty-two, including the goalkeepers.”

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Asked whether the large squad size is proving a challenge, Solinas defended that the numbers will be helpful once their CAF Confederation Cup campaign kicks off in two months.

“Kaizer Chiefs is a big club that competes for a lot of trophies, and now we will compete also in Africa – in November/December we start, and compete also in the Absa Premiership, Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout.

“Normally, when you compete for a lot of trophies, you need a big squad. But the big squad is good for the African competition because when you play in Africa you travel a lot.

“When we travel, we travel for up to nine hours when you’re fortunate. So, playing in Africa means players come back to Johannesburg very tired, not only from the game but also the travelling.

“You then need the team to compete in the league, and this is the reason we need a big squad. But, it’s not easy to manage a big squad because in a big squad you need to pay attention [so as not] to create frustration.”

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