Nedbank Cup finalists Marumo Gallants are already gearing themselves up for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup. Gallants will be participating in the CAF inter-club competition for the second successive season.
The Polokwane-based side has already qualified for the competition despite the outcome of this weekend’s final. Marumo Gallants take on DSTV champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday evening.
After successfully defending their league title, Mamelodi Sundowns will be heading back to the CAF Champions League next season. Despite already guaranteed participation in the Confederation Cup, Marumo Gallants are aiming for a major shock.
They want to repeat what they did against Mamelodi Sundowns last season. Gallants beat the Brazilians in the semi-finals last season enroute to lifting the Nedbank Cup trophy.
Sundowns are the overwhelming favourites given their current form this season having already lifted two trophies, and are now chasing a treble. But they will be coming up against a formidable side under the guidance of their former defender Dan Malesela.
The Gallants technical director is also a former Sundowns legend.
“We respect Sundowns to the extent that we discovered that going to play Sundowns just like making training sessions you never succeed. First, we had to work on the minds of the players. In brief what I want to say is that the team is ready, and fortunately, all the players are there for selection we don’t have an excuse,” says Harris Choeu, Marumo Gallants’ technical director.
Not a walk in the park
Sundowns realise that the match will not be a walk in the park. The R7-million first prize money up for grabs will be an added incentive.
Former professional footballers expect a closely contested affair, given the brand of football played by the two finalists.
“I don’t think it’s going to be any different, we know what these teams can do. You know at the end of the day, like I said, both coaches they talk about good football but at the end of the day it’s about scoring goals, and tomorrow it’s about that player that wants to make sure that or the team that wants to make sure that they lift the trophy. But I’m excited on Saturday because it’s a once-off,” says Mark Williams, Former Bafana Bafana midfielder.
“Both teams are doing well, playing a good brand of football, a type of football that any South African person or football lover would like to see and for me a team that will obviously play well, be solid at the back, convert the chances they create will definitely win the game because they play more similar type of football,” says Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Former Bafana Bafana midfielder.
Fans in attendance
This will be the first Nedbank Cup final in the North West Province and the first one with fans in attendance since 2020.
“It’s you know what almost three years since we had the opportunity to host spectators at the Nedbank Cup final so from that perspective we really excited to first and foremost have fans back at the stadium. Current legislation allows us to have 50% of the venue capacity. Ticket sales have been going well but we hoping for a big final push ahead of this weekend’s cup final,” says Tabie Badenhorst, Nedbank cup sponsor.
Royal Bafokeng Stadium accommodates 44 000 spectators and organisers are expecting at least 20 000 fans to attend the match. Gates open at three o’clock and kick-off is at six.
Marumo Gallants take on DSTV Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, in the final of the Nedbank Cup: