Thlone confident ahead of ‘special’ Nedbank Cup final17/05/2018
The Nedbank Cup final on Saturday will be special for one player in particular as Maritzburg United left-back Thato Thlone comes up against his former side Free State Stars in the prestigious decider at the Cape Town Stadium.
The 27-year-old spent four successful seasons at Stars where he made his name in the Premier Soccer League, before a switch to BidVest Wits at the start of the current campaign.
Things did not work out for him with The Clever Boys though and Maritzburg swooped in January to secure his services.
Now he will be up against the team where he made his name, but there will be no room for sentiment.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to, it’s something special to come up against my former team in the final, winning it will be the cherry on top,” Thlone said. “I’ve got nothing to prove against Free State Stars, they were the ones that made me to be where I am today.
“We know well how Stars play – we’ve been watching their games, and they have probably also been watching us. We have our plan, but we also don’t expect to change much from the way we have been playing, we will approach it as we do all games.
“We want to win it, it’s going to be all guns blazing from us, we’re going all out to win the final. The guys are excited and we are looking forward to it.”
Thlone will be one of the senior players in the side and has taken on the role of mentor.
“We have got a young team and for most of the guys in our team it’s their first final. I’ve been there and experienced it, and so I’ve had some conversations in camp about how it feels – I’ve been sharing some of my experience. I said it’s just a game – you have to be level headed.
“We have this spirit – there are no individuals, no big players and no small players. We fight for each other, whether we’re down, or up, we keep our heads level and it’s worked for us a team.
“No matter the situation, we keep on playing and we know the result will come, we know the goals will come, as long as we stay calm and stay patient.”
Tickets for the Nedbank Cup decider are available at TicketPro outlets nationwide, including Edgars, Edgars active, Edgars connect, Jet, Jet Mart, Postnet and CAN.
They are selling at R40 for adults and R15 for children under 12, and can also be purchased online at TicketPro (www.ticketpro.co.za).
Aside from the football, there will be plenty more entertainment on the day, with the match to kick-off at 19h00.
*The views represented are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of Nedbank.