Baymed preview - Garankuwa v Stars
Thursday September 14 2006
What began as a dream in a taxi rank two years ago has finally made it to the big time.
Garankuwa Uniteds promotion to the Mvela Golden League is the fruition of hard work, meticulous planning and ambitions born in 2004.
That was when brothers, Kingdom and Harold Kaizer Motaung and close friend Abram Ratlhagane bought the status of Buffaloes F.C campaigning in the North West Vodacom League. A team eager to plough back to its community was born.
Last year, the Garankuwa-based team did considerably well by winning the Vodacom league champions crown, thus earning an automatic berth in the national 1st division.
But their football fairytale story does not end there. After beating more fancied opponents, Witbank Spurs and City Pillars in the knock-out stages of the prestigious Baymed Cup to advance into the semifinals, where they face another well-organised outfit (Free State Stars) at LC De Villiers Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm).
The rookies coach, Russel Molefe, said his young marauders will continue with their giant-killing status to advance to the final.
"The only thing standing between us and the final is my players themselves," said the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows striker.
"We have proven that if we put our minds to something we can attain our objective. The players have been phenomenal but credit must also go to the directors who are doing a sterling job."
United, who held the same Stars to a goalless draw in league encounter last weekend, have really proven to be a tough customer and Molefe acknowledged that Saturdays game will be a different prospect altogether.
With his leading goal scorers, Tshepo Mashego and Juju Mbuawane (both with four goals apiece), and a technical team comprising of the former Orlando Pirates legend Godfrey City Hadebe, Romario is adamant that they will triumph over Stars.
"We stand a very good chance especially seeing how they play. They are tactically good but we did not give them an inch of space to play to their advantage and we were able to neutralise them. With our supporters fully behind us, we stand a chance to be the first to annex the Baymed Cup."
Stars, who have been blowing hot and cold in the league have promised to atone the last term performance that saw them been one-season wonders in the Castle Premiership despite the financial injection from a new sponsor.
"We did not play as we should have against United last weekend but this is a cup game and anything can happen," said Stars striker Jimmy Kauleza.
"Things have fallen into place now after we were relegated from the premier league and the Baymed Cup is the first trophy that we must win to launch ourselves seriously this season. United players are hard runners and full of commitment and with the game taking place in Pretoria, next to where they are based, they will be confident of advancing to the final but not at our expense."
Match preview by Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix