Siwelele poised to upset Buccaneers

2010-03-11 10:30

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Owen da Gama is hoping to put the cherry

on top of a good season by winning the Telkom Knockout, but knows he faces a

tough hurdle in the first round against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium

on Saturday night.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm.

Celtic finished sixth in the Absa Premiership after narrowly

avoiding relegation the previous season, and Da Gama deserves a pat on the back

for turning around Celtic’s fortunes, despite speculation that Gordon Igesund is

being lined up to replace him next season.

But Da Gama is focused on the job at hand. “We enjoyed a good

season so far but made mistakes from which we learnt. We are looking forward to

a good cup run.”

Da Gama believes if Celtic can beat Pirates it could propel them

into the final.

He has been down this road before. “When I coached Silver Stars

(now Platinum Stars) in 2006, we played Kaizer Chiefs in the first round and

then went on to win the cup.

“I strongly believe if we can beat Pirates, then the motivation

will be there for us to go all the way.”

Pirates will be weakened by having six players on duty with Bafana

Bafana in Brazil where national head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is holding a

four-week training camp.

But Da Gama is also minus six players, two with Bafana midfielders

Tlou Segolela and Thabo Nthethe – the injured Cecil Oerson and three suspended

players in defenders Michael Khaile, Johannes Motlhaping and Wellington


Good news is that experienced defender Mokete Tsotetsi, is back from


Said Da Gama: “Having to make six changes could work for or against

either side. It will be the team that wants it most on the night.

“Having six players out means an opportunity to other players to

show me they deserve to be in the starting line-up.”

Da Gama added that motivation for some of the squad is the fact

contracts were up for grabs at the end of the season.

The former Bucs coach also knows Pirates have more depth than

Celtic, but he believes his side can upset Pirates in their own backyard.

“We beat Pirates 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup last season in

Potchefstroom and have a good away record this season. We are quietly


The two sides met in the final league fixture in the Free State

capital last weekend in a clash that ended 1-1.

Da Gama is set to give teenage striker Bongani Ndulula another run

after he scored the equaliser last weekend against the Buccaneers.

One of the six changes Bucs coach Ruud Krol will have to make is in

goal by bringing in Senzo Meyiwa to replace Moeneeb Josephs who is in


Meyiwa has played three times this season and is raring to go, but

warned his players about a weakness he noticed creeping into the team. “We tend

to lose concentration late in matches.

“We need to focus for the entire game. I am looking forward to

playing and determined to give it my all. The coach has been brilliant this week

with the way he has motivated us.”

In Saturday’s other Knockout clash Golden Arrows host Platinum

Stars at the Chatsworth Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.

On Sunday, Premiership champions SuperSport United will be hoping

to end their two match losing streak when they play relegation haunted

Mpumalanga Black Aces at Witbank’s Puma Stadium.

United lost 3-0 away to AmaZulu in their last league match and

coach Gavin Hunt will want to put matters right against Aces who finished 15th

in the 16-team Premiership and are involved in the promotion/relegation


Aces meet Nathi Lions in the first leg of the semi-final play-off

at home next Wednesday and that is expected to take priority.

In Sunday’s other clash Ajax Cape Town host Moroka Swallows at


Both kick-off at 3pm.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.