BLOEMFONTEIN – Celtic midfielder Lucky Baloyi explained how he and his teammates overcame the tumultuous season Phunya Sele Sele had off the field to finish in the top eight.
Celtic fans shut down the City of Roses upon hearing that the club was up for sale and could be sold to a businessman from Kimberley who would relocate it. When that wasn’t enough, they boycotted games and even stormed the pitch to stop the club’s league clash with Cape Town City, which led to Celtic playing their last home game in the Eastern Cape.
The players were also not paid their salary in certain months while other players had to wait a long time to receive their signing-on fees. They went on strike and coach Steve Komphela resigned as he couldn’t deal with the chaos. Despite this, Celtic finished in eighth place.
“What we did as senior players was to sit down with the young ones because we have a lot of youngsters in the team,” Baloyi said. “There was a lot happening, like being paid late. We had to sit down with them and tell them let’s just focus so that we are able to achieve things because at the end of the day we are players and we want to achieve things.
That’s what helped the team, the senior players standing up for the young players and ensuring that mentally we are strong.
“It was disturbing a lot, knowing that you’re working hard but when it comes for you to be paid there are issues. This season we shouldn’t have such problems because it even cost us our supporters who ended up going into the pitch while we were playing Cape Town City and we lost points.