Kjell Jonevret facing weekly selection headache with Orlando Pirates squad


Jonevret has largely stuck to the same matchday team since he took over at the Orlando Stadium in February, with only the Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup to contest.

And with Pirates boasting one of the largest squads in the league, they do not have the same opportunities as Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, Platinum Stars and Bidvest Wits, who all have CAF competition to contest, where squad depth is paramount and most players find themselves rotationally in the starting XI.

The Swedish coach, who admittedly is still searching for his best combinations, this week helped bring an end to the Buccaneers' 12-match winless streak as they beat nine-man Maritzburg United 2-0, but he has rarely changed his team selection since he was appointed in February.

Players like Jackson Mabokgwane, Tercious Malepe, Thembela Sikhakhane, Mahlatse Makhudubela, Gift Motupa, Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Rakhale, Thabiso Kutumela, Bernard Morrison and Ayanda Nkosi have struggled to see much, if any game-time under the coach.

The former Djurgadens IF and Vikings tactician admits that, as much as they have rarely featured, it is important the fringe players continue to support the playing team, but said he would understand if those failing to make an impact starting considering their futures in Soweto.

"We've got a lot of players at Orlando Pirates and we've a big squad and we're playing [in the league] and now the cup," said Jonevret.

"You've SuperSport [United], [Mamelodi] Sundowns, and few other clubs who are playing regularly in Africa also. They can change [their squads] a little bit more but it's tough, it's tough for many players in Orlando Pirates right now because they don't have the second-team games either, so it's difficult for them.

"I can understand that they are thinking about 'I need more game time' and things like that.

"Also, it is so important, because it's what we are doing at the training ground everyday, that [selecting the same team] is going to give us the results we are looking for. So it's so important that... but they've been great players out there.

"We've more players in the tribune [clubhouse] than on the pitch but it's important that they train well and they support the bench... that is important.

"And then you'll have to say after the end of the season [to those who are not playing] and I can understand that a few players are finding it tough out there because they are not close to the team."

Jonevret, whose side are now ninth on the table, will be hoping the monkey is off their back when they visit relegation-threatened Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R29 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to SNL24
Show Comments ()