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SA SOCCER NEWS
Birds Coach Wants Maximum Points 10/10/03
Gavin Hunt is confident that his side can get maximum points against Silver Stars in their Castle Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polekwane on Sunday.

Although some coaches might find it hard to motivate their players for such fixtures, Hunt says he has no worries of complacency setting in as his players are aware that they need to play at their maximum potential in every game if they are to make sure that they are serious title contenders.

"This will be a tough away assignment, especially with the heat that one gets up in Polekwane. But these are the type of games which we have to win if we want to be serious contenders to win the league," Hunt told www.morokaswallows.com.

"Stars are a useful outfit - we cannot afford to take them lightly. I have seen them play a couple of times and it seems to me as if they play their soccer with a typical African style and flair, so we will plan accordingly."

Six games and a couple of cup games into the new campaign and the coach is feeling pretty good with the progress his team has made so far.

"Yes, things are going well and I'm happy with the way my player's are performing. The only two disappointing factors for me have been the Cup Final loss to Cosmos and the 3-3 draw against Dynamos. In the Dynamos match the guys were obviously tired after playing three games in five days and a couple of mistakes crept in. I just hope that those two points dropped don't turn out to be vital later on in the season."

Hunt has no injury worries in his team, with the only absentee being defender George Hummel, who is away with Namibia on international duty.

The astute coach does have another selection problem, which most coaches would be jealous of - who to choose up front.

Kerryn Jordan has done well when given the chance to play and seems to be regaining the form which made him a top striker at Manning Rangers.

Mark McVeigh has been used sparingly as a substitute and has never let the team down when called upon, while the class that both Dennis Lota and Shaun Permall possess speaks for itself.

Newcomer Lungisanu Ndlela, who was signed recently from the University of Pretoria, has now also come into the equation with some excellent performances and a couple of goals in recent matches, impressing the Swallows technical staff as well as Hunt in the process.

"I have been very impressed with Lungisani since he came into the team. I always like a striker who is big and strong and hopefully Ndlela will continue to develop into a top striker."

So it seems as if the gangly striker has found favour with Hunt, which means that the other four strikers will have to fight it out for the remaining place - if indeed Hunt decides to play two strikers up front rather than the more defensively minded 4-5-1 formation which he has mostly employed this season.


Possible Team Line-ups:
Stars
: Diale, Mabuya, Khaile, Mchabe, Kunene, Nkosi, Williams, Chauke, Cibi, Masanabo, Moriri

Swallows : Etafia, Christain, McNab, Lewis, Hummel, Petersen, Kasinauyo, Kometsi, Ngobeni, Mazibuko, Sebona, Ndlela.

Players To Watch:
Swallows : Rookie Lungisani Ndlela could prove to be one of Hunt's most important signings of the season. The tall marksman has impressed everyone with his performances so far this season and Stars coach Owen Da Gama will do well to assign a man marker to the Swallows striker.

Silver Stars : Surprise Moriri first burst onto the scene with a good display in the Absa Cup last season. He has already scored twice this time around and his confidence will have received a huge boost by a recent call up to the national squad.

 

 

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