Lack of high-level matches a disadvantage for Seychelles’ football clubs
File Photo: St Michel players (in red and black) in action at Stad Linite, the main Stadium in Seychelles. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The lack of high-level matches prior to African football competition is a hindrance for local teams, says the coach of the Seychelles' national team.
Ralph Jean-Louis spooke to SNA on Tuesday following the 3-0 defeat of Seychelles' football club St. Michel against Kedus Giorgis from Ethiopia in the first leg match of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) champions’ league.
The loss on Sunday of St. Michel, a team from the east side of the main island Mahe, followed the 3-0 defeat of Lightstars against South Africans Bidvest Wits in the first match of the CAF Confederation Cup.
“Being off season is a disadvantage for our local teams and this has always been a concern. This is why I proposed to the federation that we must have a high-level pre-season tournament so we can prepare for the international matches," said Jean-Louis.
SNA spoke to the chair of the Seychelles Football Federation, Elvis Chetty, who agreed that Seychellois football clubs are disadvantaged because the way the season is organised.
The football season in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, starts end of February and runs to end of November.
“We (the football federation) have tried in the past so that teams will be in season at this period. After reflection the members of the federation themselves asked for the season to stay as it is,” Chetty told SNA.
The federation chair adds that "what we want to do in the future is to encourage the team themselves as soon as seasons end to encourage their players to continue maintaining themselves physically, and if they want us to organise competitive matches we can certainly do that.”
Coach Jean-Louis said St. Michel nevertheless gave a great performance against Ethiopia and the three goals conceded were due to a lack of concentration and individual mistakes.
Jean-Louis is working with both St. Michel and Lightstars as an advisor and assisting the two teams with their training preparation.
The Seychelles football coach expressed concerned once again with the lack of match practices before February 27 and 28, when Lightstars face Bidvest in South Africa and St. Michel host Giorgis.
“Both our teams do not have matches this weekend when they should both be playing in a top competitive match like the President’s Cup,” says Jean-louis. The President’s Cup match officially opens the Seychelles football season and is between the first division league champions and winners of the cup competition.
The Seychelles islands' national football team will be action March 26 at Stad Linite, Roche Caiman, for the qualification match in the African Nations Cup 2017.