Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques says youth is not always the nadir for football clubs and that experience can always be relied on to ensure results.
As he prepares his club for their Sunday meeting with top of the table Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane, Marques says there is no substitute for players who have seen it all before.
Swallows beat Ajax Cape Town 3-1 last Friday to move into tie second place in the Premier Soccer League standings with SuperSport United, advancing to 18 points from 10 matches.
“On the day it was experience that counted. Youth doesn’t always bring you results.
“There is always a challenge to try and keep the more experienced players going for the whole season.
“You can’t run a team, especially in the PSL, with the limited numbers that we’ve got,” he admitted frankly, “especially when the injuries, yellow cards and suspensions start to mount up.
“The fitness of the experience players is not a problem because we manage it. That’s not an issue, the problem is when you get injuries. That’s when you start looking for depth and if you don’t have it, it can catch up with you.
“Teams that win leagues normally have depth. I’m happy with the guys at the club but we need reinforcements,” Marques added.
“I don’t mean just numbers but we need quality otherwise we live in a dream world.
“You might have 25 payers but if you don’t have the quality then the experience is important. That means we can’t just go out into the market and sign youth, I’m more interested in players who are more mature and more responsible. They are the ones who get results. Youth? All in good time.”
Swallows’ squad this season includes six players who are over 30 years old.
The oldest are Siyabonga Nomvete (35), Shere Lekgothoane (34), Greg Etafia, Dikgang Mabalane, Lefa Tsutsulupa (33) and Georgian import Giorgi Nergardze, who is 31-years-old.