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Royal AM to ’integrate’ players Swallows await in opening league match

Tshepo Liphoko of Royal AM celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 KZN Premiers Cu match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Tshepo Liphoko of Royal AM celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 KZN Premiers Cu match. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Aug 20, 2021

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ROYAL AM goalkeeper coach Postnet Omony has confirmed that the club plans to integrate the players from the acquired Bloemfontein Celtic alongside their top performers from last season as they prepare for their tricky opening day Premiership clash against Swallows FC at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

The controversial Durban-based club suddenly find themselves in the top flight after having acquired the PSL status of the now defunct Celtic.

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Royal AM lost their court case which they had hoped would see them being crowned as winners of last season’s GladAfrica Championship, ahead of Sekhukhune United.

During the week, Celtic players were informed by their now former boss Max Tshabalala that they needed to get to Durban and meet their new boss Shauwn Mkhize.

It is uncertain how much preparation they have had before the team’s first outing this season.

But Omony explained that the handover is being taken care of.

“Tactically we know that we have the bulk of our players coming from the PSL (via Celtic) into the team,” he said.

“Our main challenge is merging the players with the guys who did well in the GladAfrica Championship last season.

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“We are mainly focused on having the best players from the GladAfrica alongside the players who arrive via the merger.”

Omony’s expertise will be vital for Royal AM given that he played in the Premiership with Celtic, Black Leopards and Vasco da Gama before he took up coaching.

He believes that the integration of the former Celtic technical team with the already existing Royal AM one will be a smooth process with reports suggesting that former Celtic coach John Maduka will be at the helm of the club against Swallows.

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Omony confirmed that official designations of the technical team will take place after the club’s league opener.

“It was good years at Celtic and I hope to have good years at Royal AM.

“The merger of the technical team is more of a reunion because we all played with one another at some point.

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“The closure of Celtic is a pain for Bloemfontein and the Free State but it’s also a gain for KZN,” said Omony.

Royal AM will be an interesting team to watch this season given that they are newcomers and also under the leadership of businesswoman Mkhize, with her 20-year-old son Andile Mpisane serving as a player/ chairman.

Omony says the club will be realistic in their approach, given that they will be pitted against teams with more top-flight experience.

“There will be no unrealistic ambitions.

“The management is new and has much as the bulk of the team has played in the PSL, we want to do well but cannot expect to win the trophies. We need to take games one at a time and focus on consolidating our place within the top flight,” said Omony.

@EshlinV

@IOLSport

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