With Amakhosi about to embark on their Caf Champions League campaign, the fixtures are beginning to pile up, but assistant coach Dr Khumalo is trying to remain positiveKaizer Chiefs are flying high at the top of the Premier Soccer League table, but they are about to begin their Caf campaign, which could see them playing 18 fixtures in two months.
"It’s the most challenging period, not only in domestic football but also we are playing in the Caf Champions League,” Khumalo told the media.
Such a large amount of games is more than even what English Premier League clubs play during their most congested periods, when they have Uefa Champions League fixtures. Too many fixtures can lead to injuries, and in hindsight Chiefs were right to want to pull their players out of Chan.
Safa allowed Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United to withdraw their players, due to their fixtures in the last Caf campaign. However it was shortsighted of them not to consider Chiefs upcoming fixtures too. There's the Nedbank Cup coming up, and of course the only way their matches can be reduced is if they are knocked out earlier than they'd hope.
Amakhosi need a large squad to contend with the congestion, and one could argue that such a problem probably cost Roger de Sa his job at Bucs, since he gave priority to Caf at the cost of league form. The question now is how will Chiefs cope with all competitions?
"It’s a critical phase in terms of maintaining our position on the log,” said Khumalo.
“There is also the Nedbank Cup and so many games to be played.
"However, it’s good that we have depth and there are also some youngsters that you saw during the Nedbank Cup games that are coming up.”