IF THEIR Caf Confederation Cup run continues, Orlando Pirates’ Absa Premiership campaign next season could be affected, Eric Tinkler says.

Pirates are on the brink of the Confederation Cup group stages, needing to win a two-legged clash against an opponent they will know on Tuesday after the draw to reach the competition’s round-robin phase.

They will go into next season having had very little rest in the off-season, with the preseason Carling Black Label Cup against Kaizer Chiefs also on their schedule.

Fatigue may creep in and affect their league title charge, as was the case when they reached the Champions League final in 2013.

"If we keep going in the Confederation Cup our recovery has to be vital. It will play a huge role in our campaign next season. Right now it’s good that we are playing, but I think it’s going to affect us come September," Tinkler said.

The fifth edition of the Black Label Cup will be played on July 25, but the date may have to be changed should Pirates reach the Confederation Cup group stages. The third round of group matches are scheduled to be played during that weekend.

Carling Black Label GM Vijay Govindsamy said on Monday, "We always face this challenge. We have to accept the fact that they could go further in the competition. If they do so, we would have to change our plans and we are always willing to do so.

"There is minimum flexibility. We’ve got a week before or a week after where we could move it. It’s always a challenge."

The preseason competition, which replaced the Telkom Charity Cup, gives fans an opportunity to vote for players to be in the starting lineup.

"I think it’s a great initiative. We are looking forward to people voting for us and having another great game against Pirates," Amakhosi captain Tefu Mashamaite said.

Pirates have won the competition three times and Amakhosi once.

Please sign in or register to comment.