The draw for the forthcoming ABC Motsepe League national promotion play-offs saw local outfit Mangaung Unite drawn in group B of the competition, which is divided into three streams.
Conducted on Thursday (15/10), the draw decided Mangaung’s fate of competing against Bizana Pondo Chiefs and Mikhado FC in the group stage.
The three teams will compete for two available slots in the National First Division’s (NFD) much-anticipated draw.
The team with the most points will go through to the semifinal, which will feature clubs that finish top of the competition.
The South African Football Association (Safa) announced that the nine clubs representing the respective provinces would be in action from 9 to 12 November at the Vaal University of Technology in Gauteng.
Mangaung’s opening fixture is against Chiefs on 9 November, and the team’s second match, against Mikhado, will be played on 11 November.
Both fixtures are must-wins for the Free State team in its third attempt to gain promotion to the professional rank.
The Pretoria Callies and Zizwe United FC match will also be played on 9 November. Umvoti FC’s clash with Hungry Lions will round off the day’s proceedings.
The following day, Chiefs will meet Mikhado FC, followed by the match between Lions and FC Mpumalanga United.
Zizwe United FC and Polokwane City Rovers will end the second day’s play.
On 11 November, United will meet Umvoti and Polokwane City will clash with Callies.
The three clubs finishing top automatically qualify for the semifinal to be played on 12 November. Safa will determine the fourth club via seeding in terms of goals scored in the group stage.
Mangaung started preparations on Monday, 12 October, in Bloemfontein.
The team is currently under mentorship of former Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State goalkeeper Gabriel Njerengo as head coach. He is the third coach to to lead Mangaung in its attempt to be included in the professional rank after unsuccessful bids by Queen Modutoane and Morena Ramorebodi.
The overall winner is guaranteed R1 million in prize money, while the runner-up will get R500 000.
Of the R1 million given as first prize, R800 000 will be allocated as the team chooses, with R200 000 to be used for the development of a youth football project as decided on by the winner, in consultation with Safa and the Motsepe Foundation.