Amakhosi determined to start season with a bang

2013-07-30 15:04

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi says his team is determined to start its new season with a bang, when the MTN8 competition gets under way next weekend.

“We set ourselves targets before the start of the season and we are excited to have the chance to win the cup,” Nkosi said in Johannesburg today.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to do well and start positively and the team loves winning silverware so this competition is no different.”

Chiefs were eliminated in the first round of last year’s tournament, but went on to win both the Premiership and the Nedbank Cup last season.

They begin their pursuit of the MTN8 trophy against surprise package Tuks next weekend.

Tuks beat the Glamour Boys on the last day of the season in May and boast an unbeaten record against Chiefs.

But Nkosi said the team were itching to set the record straight against the league newcomers.

“You have to be cautious of any team,” he said.

“For us, we approach every game the same way and Tuks will be no different.

“Obviously they have a good record against us, but this is a new season and we, as Chiefs, want to improve and do better, especially against teams that beat us last season.”

The competition pits the top four teams, who all received home ground advantage in the opening round, against the next four, gifting Chiefs the luxury of home support at FNB Stadium.

“It’s a great place to play,” Tuks skipper Tebogo Monyai said of the 90 000 fortress.

“It will be close to full and that means every player is excited by the occasion.

“Playing Chiefs makes it easy for our coach (Steve Barker) because we are all motivated, so he doesn’t have to do or say much.”

Monyai said AmaTuks had done very well in their first season in the country’s top-tier but they were, nevertheless, realistic about their first appearance in the MTN8 tournament.

“We will have to control the players and be careful they don’t overdo things,” Monyai said.

“It’s history in the making for Tuks to be in the top eight for the first time and we need to carry on writing history going forward.”

In the other opening-round games, Platinum Stars, last season’s Premiership runners-up, faced a tricky home encounter against Free State Stars, while Orlando Pirates would travel to Mbombela Stadium to take on SuperSport United.

Wits kick off the tournament against Bloemfontein Celtic on Friday August 9 in Johannesburg.

MTN8 first round fixtures:

Friday August 9: Wits vs Bloemfontein Celtic (Bidvest Stadium).

Saturday, August 10: Platinum Stars vs Free State Stars v (Royal Bafokeng Stadium), Kaizer Chiefs vs University of Pretoria (FNB Stadium).

Sunday August 11: Orlando Pirates vs SuperSport United (Mbombela Stadium).

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