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SA SOCCER NEWS
Birds playing for pride 28/05/04
Swallows will be playing for the pride of their club when they take on log leaders Kaizer Chiefs at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Birds are currently in fifth place on the league table and although they are assured of a place in the SAA Supa 8 for next season, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to secure a top three finish which would have seen them qualify to play in Africa next season.

After from the pride of coming out tops in a Soweto derby, Swallows also have a chance to influence the outcome of the league as they could dent Chiefs' title hopes by winning on Saturday.

ALthough there is not a lot to play for as far as the Birds go, motivation will certainly not be a problem as the Johannesburg Stadium is set to be packed to capacity with Chiefs fans hoping to see their team walk off with the title.

On top of this Swallows have the Absa Cup final coming up in two weeks time and the players will be out to secure their places for that game by impressing coach Gavin Hunt against Chiefs.

One player who would have loved to be walking out on teh pitch tomorrow is Samuel 'Sea' Ngobeni, but unfortunately the skilful midfielder will miss the game through suspension.

He will, however, be available for the Absa Cup final.

Ngobeni, who has been in top form this campaign, will miss the chance to square up against his former team-mate, Jabu Mendu, who kept 'Sea' on the sidelines last season.

"Yes, I am very disappointed not to be playing tomorrow. The atmosphere will be great as always for a Soweto derby. I will have to wait until next season, possibly the Telkom Charity Cup, before I get a chance to play against Jabu," he said.

Ngobeni also added that his team-mates will treat this game as any other match, despite the importance of the match to Chiefs.

"We have nothing against Amakhosi. We are not here playing to stop them from winning the league. We will play our normal attacking game and will give our all to win the game, which is our last league match of the season.

"A win would also be a great morale boost for the team ahead of the Absa Cup final against Manning Rangers," he added.

The Birds are without the injured Raymond Seneo for this game, while striker Shaun Permall joins Ngobeni on the sidelines with a suspension.

Good news is that experienced defender Warren Lewis, who scored a brilliant free-kick against Amakhosi in their last league game, is set to boost the defence by returning from injury.

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