The past seven days have been extremely quite in terms of on-the-field action in South Africa.
But there has plenty going on off the field where there have been some key managerial changes.
Away from domestic matters, the national Under-23 team qualified for the semi-finals of the CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations or Olympic qualifying tournament, where they need to finish in the top three to reach the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Here’s the key quotes from interviews in South African football this week:
South Africa Under-23 coach Owen da Gama
“The dream lives on. When we left home the mission was to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games, and we are still on track. We mentioned that we will take it one game at a time, and it has worked for us. “Now we are just one match away from achieving our dreams.”
Captain of the Under-23 side Keagan Dolly was pleased with support they have received
“We would like to thank our fans back home for the support and urge them to continue doing so because that is the reason the boys are working so hard knowing the South Africans have our backs. The fans should keep on believing in us and we will do our best to make them proud.”
Under-23 midfielder Deolin Mekoa sees broader benefits for the Olympic hopefuls
“It will be great to qualify for Rio because it will open doors for many players to perhaps secure bigger contracts as we will be playing on the big stage. So it’s a very big deal to qualify for the Olympics, and we are all aware of that as players. It is perhaps the most important 90 minutes of our lives and careers.”
Recently appointed Bloemfontein Celtic coach Serame Letsoaka
“The first thing that came into mind when I confirmed my availability was ‘returning home’, where my coaching career as an assistant to the late Styles Phumo was launched. I had goose bumps, memories of the beautiful culture of Siwelele resonated and immediately took the decision to make a presentation to management.”
New Lamontville Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen
“I have been very impressed with the club and the way they have performed this year. There is a remarkable energy about them and they have a great blend of youth and experience. My ambition is to improve them. We have to improve in all departments and keep working hard.”
Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral reveals that Collins Mbesuma is his new captain
“With the vast experience that he has, all the possibilities staring him and the person that he is we believe he is the ideal guy for us to be a captain and lead the team. He is officially the captain now.”
Bidvest Wits midfielder Daine Klate reveals how he has been courted by coach Gavin Hunt
“For the past three seasons ever since he (Hunt) joined Wits, whenever I met him he always said he’s interested in me and whenever I become available, he will try sign me. If the coach shows that kind of faith, I can only repay him.”
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele on life at Chloorkop
“Not at all (does sitting on the bench frustrate me). When I joined Sundowns, I knew the quality at our disposal. There is no player who doesn’t want to play but when my team-mates are doing well, there is no point in moaning.”
Chippa United coach Roger Sikhakhane on journeyman forward Aristide Bance
“His experience is not questionable because that is one thing that you notice when he plays. He uses his experience gained from playing all over the world to good effect. He will be even more effective in the new year.”
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka looks ahead to next week’s Telkom Knockout final v Mamelodi Sundowns
“Any final you play in will be tough. Sundowns are currently on top of their game but we can’t lose a final twice in a row. We just can’t! We know what to expect from Sundowns and we have to be cautious with their approach. But we want to win this one.”