There will be interesting match-ups in this weekend’s edition of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, with the top-placed teams facing each other at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria.
On Saturday, Bloemfontein Celtic, who lead Group A on goal difference, face Kaizer Chiefs, who are also on seven points. The winner of that clash is likely going to end the weekend on top of the log.
“It won’t be an easy match as Kaizer Chiefs are also on top; we are only leading by goal difference. The players will just have to go there and play according to the team structure and enjoy the game. While we are playing to win, they have to enjoy the experience too,” said Celtic coach Lehlononolo Seema.
They will then take on struggling Maritzburg United on Sunday; the KZN side have lost all three their matches, but Seema doesn’t think that it will be a walk in the park against them.
“Football is a funny game. No team plan to lose; Maritzburg may just start winning against us. They try in every game and one day they will get it right; they can bounce back this weekend. Look at Moroka Swallows, they lost to us by a big margin but they were a different team in their last match. It is work in progress, they will gel – once they click, a lot will change.”
“Maritzburg will be tough as well, we are not even thinking about scoring 10 goals but to score more than our opponents. We’ve been telling the players to keep their feet on the ground, respect their opponents and continue to work hard,” Seema concluded.
Also in contention for top spot, is the home side the University of Pretoria, who will play against SuperSport United and Polokwane City.
“We are definitely ready. With the way we’ve been preparing, we hope we will be able to cope. We are planning to play two teams, it won’t be new players but the ones we’ve been using. Our players are all under 23; we will see which players we can get from the first team,” said the team coach Sly Mosala.
SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo is pleased that his team finally got their first win and they want to build on that; “We have a team which is improving, with the academy and senior players beginning to gel. That is very encouraging.”
Group B side Orlando Pirates, who lost the top spot to Mpumalanga Black Aces after losing to Bidvest Wits, get a chance to reclaim the lead when they face the current leaders on Saturday.
“Everyone in the team is committed to this task - from the players and the technical team to the administration team. It’s a good opportunity for the players to play in the competition, the first of this nature,” said coach Augusto Palacios.
“Some undermine the Diski Challenge and think it’s easy to compete in this. It’s very intense,” he concluded.
Aces coach Lombi Mabusela was very modest regarding his team's chances of going all the way now that they are leading the group.
”We didn’t expect to be sitting on top of the group at this stage, we’ve just been having fun and enjoying the experience.”
The other exciting match in Group B is Sunday’s match-up between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits, who are both challenging for the top spot.
“We’ve been trying to focus on our weaknesses, the players are really hungry now. For the second match against Sundowns we can use a different team. We also have seniors playing who are very hungry as they haven’t been playing in the first team,” commented Wits coach Charles Yohane.