Seychelles coach Gavin Jeanne unsure of Bafana Bafana threat


Seychelles conducted their final preparations at the match venue on Friday afternoon at the exact time as the match is scheduled to kick off – 15h00.

Several players were seen taking pictures upon arriving inside the mammoth 90 000-seater stadium, before they got their training session underway. 

Coach Jeanne, however, put on a composed face as he spoke about his side’s preparations and the make-up of his squad, which features several senior international debutants.

“Preparations have gone quite well. Yes, we’ve lost a couple of players through injury, but some are already here and recovering from it,” he said.

“We have some key players that we had to leave back home, but still I think we have a good enough team to come and compete here in South Africa.

“Only one of our players is playing in Germany [midfielder Carl Hopprich plays for German fifth-tier side Hertha 03 Zehlendorf], all the rest are playing amateur football on the three islands of Seychelles.

“Different players are debutants here, so that’s all I can tell you about them. I’m not sure what you want to know exactly.”

Jeanne, who led The Pirates at the 2018 COSAFA Cup hosted in Polokwane earlier this year, is confident his charges will not be overcome by the occasion at the Calabash.

“Maybe we’re not used to it [the big stadium], but still it’s football anyway. We can use the noise [from the crowd] to motivate ourselves also. We can just pretend it’s our supporters making noise,” he defended.

“For us, it’s okay. There’s nothing special or different, it cannot intimidate us, I don’t think so.”

Furthermore, the 39-year-old tactician says he knows very little about Stuart Baxter’s squad, and though he knows about the Absa Premiership, he rarely watches it as he has no DStv subscription.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know much about South Africa. I missed the game against Libya. I’ve just read a couple of newspapers and so on, and I know they want to be the best team in Africa, and it’s still some way to go,” he noted.

“But your premier league is at quite an adequate level, and the national team – to tell you the truth – I don’t really know much. I cannot tell you what I know.

“[Does he watch the PSL?] Not really, I don’t know much. It’s not available in Seychelles all the time, it depends if you have DStv but I don’t have DStv so I don’t really watch the games.

“You can do research as much as you want, but it’s a different game and a different day so you can’t expect South Africa to play like they did against Libya or against Nigeria.”