Pitso Mosimane criticises new age restrictions imposed on Diski Challenge
Pitso Mosimane has criticised the new age restrictions imposed on the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC)‚ highlighting the limp showing by his fringe players in the Nedbank Cup on Sunday as one of its side effects.
The MDC was initially launched as a much-needed reserve league for all the top-flight teams but this season the Premier Soccer League banned all players aged over 21 from competing.
This has turned it into a youth competition and excluded many of the squad players across the 16 top-flight clubs who had benefitted from the regular game time it offered.
Mosimane’s criticism came after he fielded a second-string starting line-up in the cup tie against Vaal University of Technology on Sunday and then saw his fringe players show all the classic signs of a lack of game time - poor form‚ no rhythm and no hint of any sharpness.
“As much as the MDC has been very good and it has helped us produce good players‚ but it should be a reserve league‚” he said after the unimpressive 2-0 win against the youthful students.
“It doesn’t give the team the opportunity to play players who are not playing every week.
"The reserve league was created for that but when they imposed the under-21 age restriction‚ it really created a problem for us.
“We have a lot of players who are 21‚ 22 years of age. Just on the cusp of making it for the MDC but now a little too old.
“We have players not ready for the first team who need game time.
“MDC has produced a lot of good players‚ but I believe three or four over-age players should be allowed to play even if they play only one half‚” he suggested.
“At least they play. In Europe they play in the reserve league‚ players coming back from injury get a chance to get their match fitness.”
Mosimane gave the example of midfielder Sammy Seabi‚ who featured in his first match for Sundowns since October after recovering from long-term injury.
“Where are we going to get a chance to give him time to play?” he asked.