Football - National team to play Bidvest Wits in South Africa | 01 July 2019
The Seychelles senior national football team will face 2018 South African ABSA Premier League champions Bidvest Wits during their seven-day tour of this rainbow nation.
Our senior national side will leave the country this morning for a 10-day training camp in South Africa as their final preparation for the 10th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) which start on July 19 and where they have been placed in group B alongside hosts Mauritius and Madagascar – two powerhouses of this region in this sport.
Speaking to Sports NATION before their departure, national team head coach Gavin Jeanne said he has managed to secure this friendly match against this top side which they will face on Thursday morning as they look to organise another test match during their stay in South Africa though he confirmed that he was not keen to play island neighbours Maldives who will be in the country next week for a friendly match.
“This final training camp is very important for team bonding as I believe a team is built on unity so this is one of our aims and we also want to polish on some of the mistakes committed at the Cosafa Cup where we performed admirably against strong opponents and we want to build on it and improve on our offensive play,” explained coach Gavin who has been quite frustrated for some time through the lack of support from clubs as well as other stakeholders.
Coach Gavin considered resigning
Sports NATION also learned through reliable sources that coach Gavin, who was appointed last year to prepare our national team for this fast approaching IOIG, considered resigning after the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying match against South Africa last year as he felt he was not getting enough support and the many obstacles in his way. But it appears some players and close friends have encouraged him to soldier on though coach Gavin did not want to discuss this issue when asked to comment on this matter.
Coach Gavin though said that he is having problems to get players released from work or from their clubs who threaten not to pay the players their allowances if they get injured while on national team duty and he thinks this is very discouraging and shows a lack of support.
“It seems that some individuals are keen to see me fail but they don’t realise my failure will mean our football has failed including the clubs, and even the federation as the national team is or should be everyone’s business and our failure will imply that we have not done our work in the right manner over the last four years and this makes me wonder if people want to see our football progress or its failure which is quite a worrying attitude,” claimed coach Gavin.
For this trip to South Africa, Rashim Padayachy will be unavailable as well as Jones Joubert though the national trainer did secure release for team captain Benoit Marie while he has also called up Foresters duo of Kitson Cecile and Brandon Labrosse along with La Passe’s Brandon Fanchette. As for Daniel Maillet and Collin Francourt, they have declined to join the squad for varying reasons whereas Jerome Dingwall has pulled out through a shoulder injury.
The team also welcomed back Colin Bibi and Kieren Sinon as they will travel with 26 players for the training camp and friendly matches but will have to bring the squad down to 20 for the IOIG.
However, the team have not been training since the Cosafa Cup at the end of May as getting release for the players from club commitments and unavailability of Maison Football dormitories for the weekend has not made it easy to organise weekend training camps and therefore coach Gavin will have to rely on the week-long trip in South Africa to put this team in shape to challenge for at least a podium finish at the 10th IOIG in three weeks’ time which appears to be a daunting task.