COSAFA: We need more exposure: Seychelles

13 Jun 2016 22:00pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUN (NAMPA) – Seychelles’ poor showing at the 2016 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Castle Cup is due to their relatively small population.
Seychelles head coach Ralph Jean Louis said this after his team was eliminated from the competition by Swaziland here on Monday evening.
This Group A match ended 4-0 for Swaziland.
Seychelles also lost to Madagascar on Saturday (0-1). Their last group match is against Zimbabwe on Wednesday, and even if they win they will not advance in the competition.
Louis is adamant their population, estimated to be about 90 000, has a short supply of footballers to represent the team in international competitions.
“We have a very small population in Seychelles and our elite football league only comprises 10 teams, with each having a handful of 25 players,” he said in an interview with Nampa after the match on Monday.
The Seychelles form part of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.
Asked about their inability to match their rivals during this year’s cup, Louis said they aimed to go to the quarter-finals this year, but “unfortunately this is football and we have to accept the result”.
Louis noted that the majority of the current crop of senior national team players ply their trade domestically, and lack international exposure.
“We only have one player who plays in Germany, so the rest of the players are home-based and obviously experience is also a big factor,” he explained.
Seychelles forward Carl Hopprich joined German side FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf in July last year.
Assistant coach Bruno Saindina stressed that the team must play frequently if they intend to stay afloat in future.
“We must play more international games. But we have learned a lot over the years and we just have to maintain that standard,” he told this news agency.
The team have not advanced past the group stages since joining the competition in 2005.