Saintfiet: I know the PSL well


Saintfiet joined Ea Lla Koto officially last week, but has spent the last 14 days with the team and is currently in a pre-season camp in Johannesburg with the side.

ALSO READ: Lechesa to resign

He reveals to his aims for the new campaign and how he hopes to use his vast experience of African football to bring better players into the club.

The 41-year-old also says that although he may be new to the PSL, it is a league he knows very well.

“I have studied the PSL closely since 2008 when I was coach of Namibia, and then also while I was with Ethiopia, Malawi and Zimbabwe because we had a lot of players in this league,” Saintfiet says.

“I followed it really closely, in the media and on television, and I can say that it is one of the strongest leagues in Africa. In the past I have had talks with other PSL teams but we could not find the right agreement. Fortunately this time I could with Free State Stars.”

He says he was surprised that Stars struggled so much last season, flirting with relegation right up until the final day of the campaign, and says he expects a quick improvement.

“From history we see that Stars would usually finish in or around the top eight, so I was surprised with last season. But our aim for this year is definitely the top eight and to do well in cup football and I believe this is very possible.

“We know where we need to improve the squad, and in which positions we need to create more competition for places. We have already got a decent squad, which we will try to make stronger, and also implement what I believe will be the best strategy for what we have.”

The Belgian says he will over time hope to use his extensive contacts within Africa and Europe to bring quality players into Stars, but his options in that regard are limited for this season as the club already has four foreigners.

“I have a huge network of players that I know, not just in Africa but also in Europe, that could be interested to come and play for Stars. I will give my advice to club management when the time is right about players we can bring in and they will make the final decision."

He reveals the side defeated National First Division club Maluti FET College 2-0 in a friendly last week.

Saintfiet has enjoyed good success as a club coach in recent years – he claimed the regional East African CECAFA Cup title with Tanzanian side Young Africans in 2012.


Download KICK OFF Live – the best live scoring app for the World Cup, PSL and European Leagues!

WIN with KICK OFF World Cup Predictor!

Make your vote count! Play Kick Off Greatest Ever!