Stars’ Freese turns his focus to United game

2013-10-05 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Platinum Stars head coach Allan Freese is still on cloud nine, following his side being crowned MTN8 champions in his maiden season in the Premier Soccer League.

Stars defeated favourites Orlando Pirates 3-1 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last Saturday.

Although Freese is thrilled with the R8 million competition triumph, he admitted that the celebrations are now over, as Dikwena switch focus to their Telkom Knock-out last-16 game against Maritzburg United tomorrow.

“The MTN8 is behind us now; we are now focusing on the Telkom Knock-out. Hopefully we will also do well in the tournament, as well as in the league. It is going to be a tough encounter against Maritzburg, but we will do our best to compete for more honours.”

Freese took over the hot seat at Dikwena from Cavin Johnson, who moved to the helm of SuperSport United at the end of last season.

Dikwena had a superb season under Johnson, finishing second on the log, just a single point behind champions Kaizer Chiefs, and they narrowly lost in the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup to SuperSport United.

The former Dynamos left-back said that he felt no pressure to deliver this season.

“Pressure to deliver? Not at all. I was here for a long time. I have been an assistant coach to various coaches at the club.

“I have worked with Steve Komphela, Owen da Gama and last year with Cavin Johnson, so to me there were no pressures at all because I know the players, management and the culture of the team, but I’m glad I managed to win something for the team.”

The former Wits Youth Academy mentor said he felt calm before the penalty shoot-out against Pirates, saying he did not give instructions to his charges or decide who should take the spot kicks. “We practised penalties a lot at training. I was confident we would win, so I never bothered with those talks before the penalties, and at the end of the day my confidence paid off.”

Kick-off is scheduled for 3 pm.

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