Mamelodi Sundowns are currently faced with a very busy fixture schedule due to the many competitions the South African giants are involved in.
This has prompted former Sundowns coach Steve Komphela who now coaches Swallows to share his thoughts on the tight match roster that the PSL defending champions have to deal with.
Mamelodi Sundowns will lock horns with TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout competition in Mbombela on Wednesday evening without seven of their first team players who were in the Bafana Bafana October international friendly squad.
It has been established that the seven Brazilians will travel to Angola on Saturday for their opening match of the inaugural African Football League against Petro de Luanda.
These players won't take part in Wednesday's clash with TS Galaxy as they're going to fly straight from Abidjan to Angola.
African Football League and Carling Knockout will stretch Mamelodi Sundowns
The addition of the African Football League and the Carling Knockout means Sundowns will have congested fixture arrangements.
It's worth mentioning that Masandawana have the Premier Soccer League and CAF Champions League matches to deal with this season as well.
Rhulani Mokwena's team will be stretched especially if they progress in the African Football League and Carling Knockout competitions, which means the team will play more and more games.
And to this effect, 56-year-old Komphela has predicted a ‘crazy schedule’ for the Brazilians, also citing the travelling challenges in Africa.
Steve Komphela's take on Mamelodi Sundowns busy schedule
“I feel very sorry for Sundowns. The schedule is going to be crazy. It is going to be the African Super League, and you are going to have the Champions League, the DStv Premiership, and Knockout competitions, Carling Black Label is no different.”
“At the back of that schedule, you have the traveling and you know how difficult it is to be traveling on the continent.”
‘Burdens and blessings are cousins' says Komphela on Sundowns squad depth
“Bafana Bafana were playing in Ivory Coast and I don’t know how the Sundowns players who had gone there will come back for the match [against TS Galaxy].
It’s going to be a mess. Then it goes to the depth of the squad, yes it is true there is depth in the squad but there is also chemistry because as soon as you change one or two players it does reflect in the team performances and group dynamics.
“That is also a challenge so it’s going to be a bit difficult. But I think burdens and blessings are cousins, the fact that Sundowns is so blessed to have so much quality and they are into the continent at such beautiful competitions, those blessings become a burden in terms of how you mitigate them,” he added.
“So the squad depth, yes it will be but one big thing we thought of was fatigue. Not only physical fatigue but also mental fatigue. How many matches are they going to play, which then creates the other view on no but too many matches for players.”
Komphela's take on the solution to easy travel in Africa
“Now I will pull some of these thoughts that I normally have in my life. Football is then using business to say, SAA or whoever you are. Is it possible for you to have a connection in Burundi, in DRC, in Egypt, and all that. So that the network of flights in connection is so swift that sports can meet the agenda and demands.
“So you then use sports to trigger the business connection and force business entities to create those routes and all that even though it’s only Mamelodi Sundowns but the message is there, that we need to create a network of connections in the continent so that it is easy and it is more accessible traveling because Sundowns is going to have problems.”
Mamelodi Sundowns will take on TS Galaxy at 19:30 SAST.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago