Moroka Swallows coach Julio Leal is hoping that he will be able to blood at least five young Birds’ players in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Speaking after the Dube outfit’s triumph over University of Pretoria in
the Nedbank Cup, Leal said he intended to speak to Swallows' boss Leon
Prins as he wants the club to participate in the next CAF continental
Swallows returned to their roots at Rand Stadium on Saturday in
great style after beating First Division Amatuks 1-0 courtesy of a goal
by Brazilian defender Vinicius Da Silva in the first half. Having tasted glory in his first season with the Dube Birds after leaving AmaZulu, Leal now wants to conquer Africa.
The coach said that participation in the CAF competition would not only
help Moroka Swallows build a strong brand in Africa but also help the
club to nurture great players for the national teams.
“It is my greatest wish, part of my fundamental plan, to see the team
playing in Africa next season. I believe this exposure will help
not only Moroka Swallows but build good players for the national teams.
“At this stage we have five Under-20 players with the squad preparing
for the FIFA youth World Cup in Egypt later this year, and by playing in
Africa I believe we will still produce more players for national teams.”
Leal also praised Amatuks for giving them a good final on Saturday.
“They are a very good and exciting team. They were a quality opposition side that really gave us tough game.”
Tuks’ captain Warren Bishop told the media that they were proud to reach the final.
“If you don’t score goals, you lose games. We gave it our best but
unfortunately fell asleep and allowed that goal. However, despite our
sadness at losing against Swallows, we are happy that we were able to
progress so far in the tournament.”
Meanwhile, Leal has also disclosed to KickOff.com that he could have a massive clear-out before the start of next season.
The Brazilian-born mentor says several players will not have their contracts renewed when they expire in June.
Eleven players will be out-of-contract ahead of the next season.
“We are definitely going to reduce the squad in the off-season. The
move is aimed at improving quality as well as reducing the team’s
“Contracts of eleven players at the club are coming to an end in June.
We will let some of them go. At this stage, I cannot reveal the names
of the players that we will let go and the positions,” Leal added.