“Our off-season is in December, we have changed our programme, we play differently. Thanks to Bafana Bafana and the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), we can have a break. I told them (the players) to go away on holiday, to go and recharge their batteries. They have two and a half to three weeks to spend time with their families and forget about football. The tricky part will be how do we get them back quickly to start the season in January,” he said.
“The Champions League season starts in February; you might be thinking that I am neglecting the local league, but we have to defend the title also – you see how tricky it is? The tricky part of being in the Champions League is where your priorities are now, and it is very difficult,” he added.
Mosimane has time and time again stressed the importance of synchronising the local football calendar with that of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) club football competitions, to avoid having less time to rest and overworking players. The former Bafana coach says the only way to approach this situation is to bring in more quality players to share the load.
“We need enough numbers and enough quality, because what do you expect from Keagan Dolly when he comes back (from Rio); he needs to lie low a little bit. We have to make sure that when he comes back, he gets a good rest … and Khama Billiat, when he comes back from the Afcon, he must also have a rest.
“We don’t want a situation that, when you rest them, you cannot replace; so that is why Sibusiso Vilakazi is here; that is why there is an opportunity for one more player to come – we are still looking for one more player upfront to come. You can’t rely on Billiat, Dolly and Leonardo Castro only; you need other players to play if they are injured.”
Sundowns will be competing in five competitions next season, and Mosimane says he is concerned because his players could possibly play up to 27 games before December this year.
“We are going for two years in a row now playing football, and it is not possible. I foresee that we will play about 27 games before the league breaks in December because I put the MTN8, I put Telkom and the 15 games of the league, and the World Cup qualifiers, add a little bit with the travelling – that is reality. Come December, they might have played 30 games.
“That is reality and we must plan for that; it is the life that we put ourselves in, you need to have enough players – but not quantity, but quality.”