In the past two seasons Anthony Laffor has played fewer than 20 games in both campaigns for Mamelodi Sundowns and he has accepted the role of being a cameo player for Pitso Mosimane’s side as he enters his eighth season with the defending Absa Premiership champions.
At this point, the 34-year-old does not seem to be bothered much about starting games but insists he has to train twice as hard to be at his best whenever he is called upon.
“I am not under any pressure to play every game. The most important thing for me is to always respect my team-mates because it is not a matter of me playing but as a senior player in the squad I have to support the guys and when the coach needs me I will do what I always do,” he said.
“If the coach does not want to play you, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. You just need to be humble and when you get the opportunity you make use of it. Everyone wants to play and it is a long season so we will see how far we will go and I know I will play,” Laffor added.
Downs are set to take their pre-season preparations to Dubai, Botswana and North Africa before they take on a local team a couple of days before the start of the domestic season.
“After a long time this is the first time that we get a good rest and we get a full pre-season and I think this is going to be different unlike the other seasons where we would go home for two weeks and then come back,” said Laffor.
He said he is hoping Masandawana get their league championship defence off to a good start against their arch-rivals SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on August 3.
“It is going to be huge and we lost against them last season but this time it is going to be different. What football lovers don’t know is that the first few games are not easy because new players have to adapt to different situations,” said Laffor.
The Premier Soccer League yesterday released all the fixtures for the Absa Premiership for the upcoming season.
The Tshwane derby is the clear highlight of the opening weekend.
Also on the August 3, Orlando Pirates will open their campaign at home to Bloemfontein Celtic, Chippa United will entertain rookies Stellenbosch at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Gavin Hunt’s Bidvest will travel to AmaZulu while Cape Town City will play Baroka FC at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
On Sunday, August 4 Kaizer Chiefs get their season underway with an away game at Highlands Park and there will be two derbies in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, where Golden Arrows host Maritzburg United and Black Leopards entertain Polokwane City.