Papu sets the tone for his young brigade
Eastern Cape SAB league U21 team Samnkelo “Scolari” Papu says going to the SAB League U21 national championships might seem a mission impossible, but he’s capable of guiding the province out of the group stages.
The provincial side couldn’t hold a training camp for the 18 players who were chosen from seven regions due to financial constraints experienced by the provincial SA Football Association (Safa) office – which is responsible for the team.
But their newly appointed coach, Papu, was not interested in dwelling on the matter, and said that coaches must stop making such excuses.
Papu, a qualified performance analyst, said being at the National First Division playoffs recently held in Limpopo with the ABC Motsepe Foundation technical study group, alongside former Mthatha City mentor, Nkush Malgas, would help him to map out his gameplans.
“For the past three seasons, I’ve attended the playoffs with the study group, and that’s where we came up with the format that is being used by Safa.
“And I believe that if we prepare thoroughly with the short time we’ll have as a team, we can be successful in this tournament. “So I won’t be speaking about the camp or anything else like that, because the main focus now is to go there and try our best,” said Papu.
The Fort Hare University football first assistant coach said having been at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament that was held at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth last week would help him in planning for their mission.
“So for us now is to tackle the task at hand, but we need to set our minds to that and ours is to give these young boys a chance to showcase their talents, because scouts from all over the country will be watching them.
“Because our mission is to get out of the group stages, and from what I’ve gathered now we can achieve that.
“We are not the only team that went to a national stage without having a training camp.
“I’m sure you’ve heard Stuart Baxter complaining about the release of players late for the national team camps.
“And many would say it might be mission impossible, but I want to try and finish in a better position than last year’s group.”
The province was drawn in Group B alongside USSA, Limpopo, Western Cape, North West, and Eastern Cape.
“I was watching USSA last week, and seeing them play was a good one for me.
“I know their style of play and I also saw teams from Limpopo who’s also in our group, and I’m confident I can counter the way they play.
“I also watched their neighbours, Dolphins, at the playoffs in Polokwane last month. I know how Limpopo will be coming to us.
“So I’m busy reviewing video footage from the ABC Motsepe League playoffs and USSA games, and the coaching at this level might be new to me, but I’m definitely ready and so will be the boys.”