We have learned lessons – Letsholonyane
“It is always difficult to play in Africa,” states Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe ‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane after the African Champion League draw on Monday.
Chiefs will face Botswana’s Township Rollers in the preliminary round. “It’s another difficult task that we have to overcome in order to realise our dreams to conquer Africa,” continues the midfield kingpin. “We learned a lot last time around.”
In 2014, the Amakhosi came close to reaching the group stage of the CAF Champions League. But they were eliminated in the final qualifying round by the Congolese outfit AS Vita. Amakhosi lost 3-2 on aggregate after going down 3-0 in the first-leg clash in Kinshasa.
“It is difficult to play in tournaments on the African continent, both at club and at national team level,” adds Letsholonyane, who has 50 South African international caps under his belt. “It’s important to acclimatise and being able to play under, sometimes, trying circumstances as professionals. The accommodation and the pitch conditions as well as the weather patterns are factors we have to go through if we want to progress in the Champions League.”
On the prospects of Chiefs meeting either Morocco’s Raja Casablanca or Congo’s CSM Diables Noirs, if going past Rollers, Letsholonyane comments: “The North African countries are usually much tougher opponents than those from our neighbours. Above all, because the conditions in the south are more or less the same. For now, however, our first focus will be on Rollers.”
The home match will be played on the weekend of 13, 14 or 15 February. The return match in Gaborone will be on 27/28 February or 1 March. Details will follow in due course.