Now, in the second part of our series, Leal introduces one of his right hand men, physical trainer Japhet Borges, whilst he also reveals to us as to how many players he is looking to use at Swallows this season.
Khaya Ndubane (KN): Coach, you have recently brought to South Africa a physical trainer, Japhet Borges. What can you tell us about Japhet?
Julio Leal (JL): "Japhet is one of the most highly qualified physicians in Brazil. He has an extensive work experience after working for various top teams in Brazil."
(KN): What is the importance of having a physical trainer in your team?
(JL): "It is extremely important because fitness is very important in the game of soccer. We, the coaches, mainly focus on the mental part of football like teaching players different tactics and movement off the ball. The physical trainers focuses on the fitness of the players. For instance, it is easier for an unfit player to get injured while performing a certain routine, so, as a coach, you need fit players in order for your plans to succeed."
(KN): How is Japhet going to contribute towards your mission of turning Swallows into a formidable force in South African football?
(JL): "Japhet knows that South African players like to use the ball, so he is going to use the soccer ball in most of his training sessions. This will, in return, make my job easier as I want Swallows players to feel comfortable on the ball. So you see, Japhet's presence in the team will really help me in many ways."
(KN): Speaking about the players, how are they responding to your philosophy?
(JL): "It is too early at this stage to say how they are responding to my way of doing things, but they all have a remarkable willingness to learn and this will help them adapt quickly to my training methods."
(KN): Tell us Julio; are you one of those who has a strong emphasis on discipline?
(JL): "Discipline is very important in the game of football, so it is important for any coach to have disciplined players. But having said that, one has to also allow players some freedom. I mean, players must be able to express themselves freely in the field of play. Freedom is very important in football, but it must be mixed with discipline."
(KN): Coach, how many players are you going to use at Swallows. By that I mean what will be your squad number?
(JL): "I'm looking at using a group of about 26-28 players. It is important to have depth in your squad, but it is equally important to have a manageable squad, so a maximum of 28 players is ok."
(KN): The Brazilian players that you brought to South Africa. How are they adapting to South African football?
(JL): "They are adapting well actually. It is a matter of time before Swallows fans see their true potential."
(KN): Are you still looking at adding more players at Swallows?
(JL): "Yes, I'm looking to add three more players to my squad. I have already identified them and submitted their names to the management, it's just a matter of clubs and the said players to agree terms - then they can become Swallows players."
(KN): Coach, what can Swallows fans expect this season?
(JL): "They must expect to see an aggressive Swallows, which plays beautiful football. All I ask of them is to fill up the stadiums and cheer the team on and we'll try to bring the desired results."
(KN): Julio, thanks for your time and do enjoy your stay at Swallows.
(JL): "Thanks for talking to me, Khaya. I hope my stay at Swallows will be a fruitful one!"