The long wait is over

The Bloemfontein Celtic captain, Ndumiso Mabena PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

It has been confirmed that the Orlando Stadium will be the venue to for the 2020 Nedbank Cup quarter-finals, which will be taking place on Saturday.

The last four-game of the cup competition will be the official resumption of domestic football after the sport, as with many other codes, was suspended back in March due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from the recently held Solidarity Cup cricket match at SuperSport Park in Centurion, this weekend’s action will officially be the first professional league or competition to resume.

The first match of the double-header in Soweto will be contested between the ever-dangerous Baroka FC and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Speaking to Bloemfontein Courant, new Phunya Sele Sele coach, John Maduka, conceded that there are a couple of niggles within his squad heading into the knockout match.

“There are a couple of them who have small injuries. A guy like Tshepo Rikhotso is one of them who is out. Remember that they haven’t been playing football for quite some time.
“When they came back to training, they were not quite the same as before the suspension. It is one of those things that you’ve got to accept, especially when you are involved in this kind of sport.

“Ronald Pfumbidzai is also not around because he is out of the country in his native Zimbabwe. As you know, it is very difficult for him to come to South Africa because of this Covid-19. That is another challenge for us, but we have been training the players for the first game, which will be against Baroka in the Nedbank Cup.

“We are still training and preparing, so anything can happen between now and the semi-final. We are just hoping that it will all go well during training so that we can go there with an almost full-strength squad.”

Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semi-final between Baroka and Celtic will kick off at 14:00. At 19:00 the PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns will be facing Wits. – MORGAN PIEK