Allie hungry for Telkom Knockout success against Downs

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Maritzburg United club captain Nazeer Allie says he has been trying his best to share some of his past successes with his teammates as they prepare for what is largely unknown territory in the Telkom Knockout final on Saturday.

The Team of Choice will meet one of the giants in South African football, Mamelodi Sundowns, for the right to lift the country’s League Cup crown.

The Brazilians have won the trophy and several others multiple times, but this is only United’s second major final with the last one lost two years ago.

Allie, who has won silverware with Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town, now wants to do the same with Maritzburg.

The Team of Choice held their first training session of the week on Tuesday at a wet Harry Gwala Stadium after returning to winning ways in the Absa Premiership at the weekend.

Eric Tinkler’s charges climbed to eighth on the league table thanks to a 1-0 win over Polokwane City. They can now look towards the final against Sundowns full of confidence, with Allie admitting they will be up against South Africa’s best side.

Despite Maritzburg being in largely unfamiliar territory, Allie feels they have grown as a group in the past year.

Six months ago, they had to negotiate the challenges of the Premier Soccer League’s Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs, one of the toughest and roughest competitions in the country.

This after a poor 2018/19 term, but they got through that challenge with flying colours and they then went on to stun Kaizer Chiefs in a one-sided semi-final two weeks ago in Mbombela. Allie believes they will be ready for this latest chapter on Saturday.

The Team of Choice also boasts one of the best fan numbers for their home matches in Pietermaritzburg with recent stats confirming that their stadium is 60 to 70 percent full on average for each game.

That support has not just been during the good times, but through the bad times too and Allie says they are determined to reward their faithful fans for the loyal support. Report by Thahir Asmal