Glory beckons Mangaung

2019-05-29 06:01
Mangaung Unite players and their coach discussing a game plan ahead of the national promotion play-offs to secure National First Division status. From the left are Sipho Nyafoza, Lebona Ratutubala, Khaya Motaung and Morena Ramorebodi (head coach). Photo: Teboho Setena

Mangaung Unite players and their coach discussing a game plan ahead of the national promotion play-offs to secure National First Division status. From the left are Sipho Nyafoza, Lebona Ratutubala, Khaya Motaung and Morena Ramorebodi (head coach). Photo: Teboho Setena

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Treble history beckons for industrious local young coach Morena Ramorebodi whose quest is to promote Mangaung Unite to the National First Division League (NFDL).

This is the second highest professional level behind the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The Bloemfontein born coach has achieved this feat in 2007 with African Warriors and with Maluti FET College in 2013. Both teams are from Qwaqwa.

Ramorebodi was the head coach of Maluti the year the team got promoted. He was also the co-coach with Me­shack “Maradona” Tsotetsi (late) in 2007, the year Warriors was promoted.

Mangaung qualified for promotion play-offs as the Free State winner of the ABC Motsepe League.

The 2019 ABC Motsepe League promotion play-offs featuring the nine provincial winners takes place in Cape Town from Tuesday (04/06) to Sunday, 9 June.

Mangaung is in the same group with the Northern and Eastern Cape, with the winner going through to the semi-final.

Experience to compete at the play-offs stands Ramorebodi in a good stead for achieving his dream to promote his third team from the Free State.

This is the second time Ramorebodi leads a team as head coach at the promotion play-offs. It is however the first team from his hometown of Bloemfontein. Ramorebodi believes that helping to promote Mangaung to professional league level is a mission he must accomplish.

“It is a great feeling to be a Free State champion, but it is important to show pedigree by ensuring the team is promoted. It has been my wish to help a home team getting promotion to a professional league and God willing Mangaung will achieve promotion and will be my third,” said Ramorebodi.

He said ensuring Mangaung is promoted to a professional league is a mammoth task.

He and his team are under great pressure given the aspiration of the football fraternity in Bloemfontein.

“Everybody loving football in Bloemfontein wants to see Mangaung compete in the professional league. This is pressure we cannot run away from and it’s a mission we must accomplish as a team.

“I believe our preparations will certainly stand us in good stead,” he said.

Mangaung still has a core of the players that were part of the team at last year’s play-offs, an aspect that Ramorebodi believes also gives the edge for success.

This is the second attempt by the Bloemfontein football outfit to gain promotion to the second highest professional league in South Africa.

The outfit missed out on the glory last year under former coach Queen Modutoane. The team was elimina­ted in the semi-final.

Ramorebodi believes the hunger for success is fundamental.

“We have to be hungry for achievement and success,” he said.

Mangaung’s opening fixture is against an Eastern Cape side yet to be named. The province has two clubs embroiled in a dispute. The second outing is against Hungry Lions from the Northern Cape. Of the four teams reaching the semi-final, the two winning in the segment are automatically promoted.

The gold medallists will take home a whopping R1 million, with the runners-up receiving R500 000.

Everybody loving football in Bloemfontein wants to see Mangaung Unite compete in the professional league. This is pressure we cannot run away from and it’s a mission we must accomplish. – Coach Morena Ramorebodi

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