Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 13:00
New Free State Stars coach Sammy Troughton has revealed that this weekend’s Maize Cup will be a key part of his side’s preseason preparation.
He also hinted that Ea Lla Koto may field a new goalkeeper in the tournament, which takes place this weekend at the James Motlatsi Stadium in Orkney.
"I have been here [at Stars] for only one week now, so I still have to got to know the players," Troughton told KickOff.
"We've been playing some friendlies, on Sunday we played against two teams from Lesotho.
“We won the first game 6-1, and the second game 6-2, but I know the competition might not have been that difficult. Yesterday we had a game against NFD newcomers Super Eagles.
"It's more pre-season preparations than anything else you know, even the tournament [Maize Cup] on Saturday will still be a pre-season thing for us, although it's an opportunity to face quality teams."
Troughton explained that Stars have relatively few new faces to play at the tournament, so supporters can expect to see a similar Ea Lla Koto line-up as compared to last season.
"[Mumuni] Abubaker, the midfielder from Black Leopards, who I know from Vasco Da Gama, is the only new face you might expect to see on Saturday, and possibly a goalkeeper coming from Rwanda who was suppose to arrive today.
"I don't know his name at the moment. I don't really know if he will be here because he's been on a bus ride for five days now," Troughton added.
Free State Stars will face hosts Platinum Stars in the opening match, which kicks off at 10am, followed by the second semifinal between Kaizer Chiefs and Botswana’s Township Rollers at 12 noon. The final is scheduled for 4pm.