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Billen predicts bright future

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MBABANE – Sihlangu Belgian coach, Valere Billen wants more time with the squad for him to turn the fortunes of the local game around.

In a lengthy interview with this newspaper yesterday, Billen said his desire is to work hand in hand with local coaches if the sport is to make headway.

"Perhaps after two years, everything will be the way I want it but then, who wants to move out when the conditions and atmosphere are conducive? I believe I need more time," he said.

Billen predicted a very bright future for the game, noting that with proper planning, there is no reason why Sihlangu cannot be world beaters in the not so distant future.

"I cannot promise that we will win the World Cup but I can promise that we will improve dramatically. Although we should not be paying too much attention to the FIFA rankings, we are definitely capable of moving up the ladder and occupying a better position in the rankings.


"Remember, I have always said that I am not afraid of challenges. Instead I am a believer. I want all those around me to be believers as well," he said.

He warned the nation not to get carried away by Sihlangu’s recent win in an international preparatory clash against Lesotho, noting that the victory away from home was just the beginning of good things to come.

"I was happy in the manner in which the whole nation reacted to the win. It shows that Swazis love football. It was good that we started on a positive note but that is just a start. We are now ready to begin working hard for the results.

"Even the Under-20s’ win in Angola against some of the toughest countries should not make people believe we are now world beaters, no. There is still a lot of hard work that needs to be done. Our attitudes off and on the field will also go a long way in determining how we fare as a country," he said.

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