Vries flying high with Swallows
Namibian international Virgil Vries’ Swallows Football Club are level with leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on the DStv Premiership log after edging out Cape Town City 3-2 at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday.
07 January 2021 | Sports
Known as the Dube Birds, Swallows’ brilliant return to the top-flight league continues, with in-form Ruzaigh Gamildien netting two goals to help his team join Peter Shalulile’s Mamelodi Sundowns at 21 points at the head of the standings.
The win was Swallows' sixth in nine Premiership matches and leaves them trailing Sundowns only on goal difference, a remarkable feat for a team that was competing in the GladAfrica Championship last season.
Namibian international Virgil Vries said the team has been passionate at training and that the focus is on taking it one match at a time.
He added that they are taking precautionary measures, with Covid-19 tests done weekly to keep the players safe.
As it stands, Vries is the man responsible for ensuring Swallows doesn’t concede a goal in any match. He has kept a clean sheet in four out of the nine matches played.
They will be hoping to carry Tuesday’s good form into Saturday’s mouth-watering Soweto derby against rivals Orlando Pirates, with many local fans joking that it will end in tears for the Buccaneers.
“I won’t be surprised if they beat Pirates on Saturday. I think the players from Swallows are hungrier to prove a point,” said Pau Neves.
However, a Buccaneers fan, Neville Petro, said they are not worried about Swallows. “Come Sunday, we will separate the men from the boys,” he said.
Pirates occupy the fifth spot on the log with 13 points.
Test of character
Swallows coach Brandon Truter described this month as a test of character for his newly promoted team.
After Sunday’s match, Swallows still need to navigate Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.
Meanwhile, Truter said people are putting unnecessary pressure on them to win the league.
“But we are not title contenders, we are a newly promoted team expected to fight for our status. We want to compete and enjoy ourselves,” he said.
He added that they are a small fish swimming against the sharks.
“It's a tough month for us as we have difficult matches to play. This month will test our character and put our unbeaten record on the line. We will see how far we have come after playing all the fixtures this month.”