Students plan for tough test against Orlando Pirates
FREE State minnows Maluti FET College are relishing the opportunity to take on Orlando Pirates in the first round of the Nedbank Cup and their coach has promised a professional showing by his players.
The Safa Second Division side was drawn at home to face the mighty Buccaneers in the Nedbank Cup last 32 and coach Morena Ramoreboli says it is a dream come true for many of his players.
"We are very excited about the draw and are looking forward to the game," Ramoreboli said.
"This is a great platform for my boys to shine and we could not have asked for a better opponent to do that against.
"But, as excited as we are about playing Pirates, we will also be very professional in planning for and playing the game. We will not be overawed, we will not speak to the players too much about it, we won't over-plan and we will be positive in our approach."
Ramoreboli is a former assistant coach at National First Division side African Warriors. He has brought a couple of players with him from that club but says he has a team whose experience lies almost exclusively in the third tier of South African football.
"We don't have any former PSL players and just a couple from the NFD, but many of my boys have been playing in the Vodacom League [now known as Safa Second Division] for a number of years.
"We are not a team of youngsters but we don't have experience against teams of the calibre of Pirates."
Ramoreboli said the club would like to play the fixture at the Charles Mopeli Stadium, its regular home, but that would have to be ratified by the PSL Cup Committee.
Ramoreboli said he expects a sell-out for the game, with many students from the Maluti FET College likely to have their allegiance torn between their college and Pirates.
"We have an advantage in that we have a good fan base among the students. I hope this match will attract some new faces to the game who [will] keep coming after the match to our league games.
"That is what the Nedbank Cup gives us, the opportunity to showcase our club not just to a national audience but also to our local community. We will do them proud."
Ramoreboli confirmed that many of his players are studying at the college.
"This is what we do at this club, give opportunities to our players outside of football. Many are used to studying but playing Pirates will be some lesson."
The dates and venues are to be confirmed but the match is likely to be played on February 23 or 24.