“Going into the first game after four months of an enforced break was an experiment,” says Ernst Middendorp. “We now know how it is to play under these BSE conditions. Things such as no supporters and conditioning of the players were our main concerns. We did not know how the players were going to respond despite a lot of work we have put into preparing for the resumption. The matches will form part of the conditioning given that we will be playing after every three days.”
Log leaders Kaizer Chiefs take on the 14th placed Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Kick- off is on Saturday at 15:30.
“Everyone is available for selection so far,” confirms Middendorp. “Given the intensity of the programme, it is not possible to play the same team every time until the last match on 5 September. “Everybody needs to compete and provide the best performances. The process involves engaging the entire technical team and the players themselves. We work within a tight schedule, and decision-making process is also tight.”
In the first round on 14th September, Jabulani Maluleka’s first half penalty proved to be the first defeat of the season for Amakhosi.
“The past results belong in history,” Middendorp responds to the first-round defeat to City. “We are prepared to play the next match and we have everything in our own hands. We have an opportunity to collect points. We do not want to put ourselves under pressure, we are calm and ready to compete. We do not want to produce tension in the camp. We are focused to do well against Polokwane City, that is where all our energies are.”
The match will be broadcast live on SS4 and Sabc radio.