The Buccaneers have registered 27 players for the competition, leaving out the likes of Thabiso Kutumela, Diamond Thopola, Wayne Sandilands, Luvuyo Memela, Thabo Matlaba, Gladwin Shitolo, Augustine Mahlonoko and Lyle Foster.
Kutumela recently returned from injury and has been getting some game-time. Once fully fit, the former Baroka FC man will no doubt be considered for the continental club competition, while Matlaba and Shitolo will hope they can fight their way back into the team having featured domestically earlier in the season.
'Micho' says players who have been left out need to prove themselves so that they can be included when registration opens again later on in the competition.
According to the Champions League rule book, 'A National Association which has registered less than 30 players in November may after the 1/16th finals, starting two weeks before the date of the first matches of the group stage until the 31st of January, complete its list up to a maximum of 30 players, provided that the additional list does not exceed seven new players'.
“The 27 players [registered] are designated for the four matches prior to the group stages [preliminary and first round stages], so we have the highest degree of confidence and believe we have everything what it takes to reach the group stages,” the Serbian coach said.
“Once we reach the group stages, we have a right to all the players we have not put on the list [they] have a chance in times ahead of us to (sic) the league, to the cup, to the training sessions and [with] overall work to convince us that they are the ones that we can later add to the team. It is not a closed chapter.”
Pirates open their Champions League campaign against Lightstars from Seychelles at Orlando Stadium in the preliminary round on Wednesday night (19h30).
Tickets are on sale at Computicket outlets, at a cost of R40 for adults and R10 for juveniles (kids under 12).