Kaftel issues warning to Swallows

Premiership

Highlands Park co-director Brad Kaftel has sent a warning to GladAfrica Championship winners Swallows FC ahead of their return to the top-flight.

Since the Coastal and Inland streams were merged in the 2011/12 season, only seven National First Division champions have managed to survive their first season in the Absa Premiership.

View 7 promoted clubs that managed to survive their first PSL season above

The Lions of the North were relegated in the 2016/17 season after gaining promotion the previous season, but Kaftel says the reason his club failed to stay in the top-flight for more than one season was due to the standard of the PSL.

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"No look, the problem that you have is the standard is dramatically different," he tells KickOff.com.

"So when you are playing in the NFD the standard is on one level. When you are in the PSL the standard is much higher. Let's assume Swallows have got a squad of 25 players, they're gonna have to offload players that aren't good enough. They're gonna have to find players that are good enough for the PSL.

"You could see it with Stellenbosch, when they came up at the halfway mark they were rock-bottom. And what saved them was they went and got players. I mean they brought Marc van Heerden... I mean they brought a lot of quality to the team and then they ended up in a decent place.

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"But a NFD team can't survive in the PSL. And I promise you, four or five will be good for the PSL. The problem that you've got is quality players are not waiting in the street corners or shebeens waiting for you. Quality players are contracted to clubs.

"That's what happened to us the first time we got promoted. With our NFD team we were struggling from day one. We played Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup in Makhulong and we were fantastic and Denis Onyango was the man of the match, he took them to extra-time and Keagan Dolly scored a fantastic goal for them to win 1-0.

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"We came away from there believing we had a team good enough to be in the PSL. But it wasn't true. Our players were able to produce that in one game, but they were not able to produce that for 30 games. It gave us a false sense."

Kaftel has now sold Highlands Park to TS Galaxy to pay off financial debt and plans to return to the PSL in a few years' time.

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