Mathibe - 'Trip will be good for us'

Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe says that the 'Beautiful Birds' upcoming pre-season trip to Germany will serve as motivation for the team to challenge for the Premier Soccer League title.

The 'Beautiful Birds' will visit the 2006 FIFA World Cup hosts from July 16-22, and participate in the International Volkswagen Challenge Trophy against Volkswagen-owned and sponsored Bundesliga team, VFL Wolfsburg.

Swallows are the current holders of the Volkswagen Challenge Trophy which they won in July 2006.

"The trip will certainly provide us with a psychological boost, as we will compete against teams that play at a higher standard to ours," said Mathibe.

He added: "I have been to many countries abroad when I was still with Chiefs, including South Korea, Egypt, Tunisia, France etc - but it was after we played in the Peace Cup in Seoul - that I realised that there was an added 'bite' in the team, i.e. after doing reasonably well against the likes of Besiktas (Turkey) and Lyon (France).

"We came back home and won the League title that season."

The highly-talented last line of defence also highlighted the fact that players tend to rise to the occasion during such pre-season tournaments.

"Many players are aware of the fact that there are usually scouts and agents watching these games, and they therefore put up good performances."

Swallows are sponsored by VW South Africa, who own National First Division (NFD) side Bay United.

Meanwhile, plans are already in progress to host VFL Wolfsburg in South Africa in 2008 to showcase South Africa's 2010 FIFA World Cup preparations.

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Saturday, April 27
Castle Premiership:
Swallows v Maritzburg
Kick-off: 3pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 21
Castle Premiership:
Drew 0-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 8
Castle Premiership
Won 3-1 v Celtic
Venue: Seisa Ramabodu

April 1
Castle Premiership
Drew 1-1 v Chiefs
Venue: Germiston Stadium

March 11
Castle Premiership
Won 2-0 v Wits
Venue: Bidvest Stadium

March 3
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Arrows
Venue: Germiston Stadium

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