EC BEES coach Chippa Njedu says he hopes to meet PSL heavyweights at home when they continue their quest for the R7-million grand prize in the 2017-18 Nedbank Cup competition.
Njedu was reacting to their 3-1 win against Polokwane-based Mariveni United at the weekend at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The “Crazy Gang” was making their third appearance in a row in the last 32 teams of the lucrative cup competition and Njedu could not stop praising his entire squad but also admitting that things were going to get tougher for them.
He told the Daily Dispatch he was hoping to be drawn against Mamelodi Sundowns or Kaizer Chiefs in the last 16 teams.
“All these teams that were going to be drawn against us are heavyweights.
“So it doesn’t matter if we go against Chiefs or Sundowns but as long as we playing at home – we can at least have homeground advantage.
“And most importantly for our fans, I would love for them to watch us play with these two big teams.
“Because they have seen us playing against Orlando Pirates here at home, and now if we would host one of the two clubs, that would be wonderful for the 12thman.
“Even if we are taken out of the competition – at least they would have enjoyed top-flight soccer at its best.”
Njedu said since they have advanced to the next stage of the cup competition, his primary goal was to market his players to PSL clubs.
“I’m very proud of the boys especially [Sipho-Sihle] Mtule, he scored two goals and got the man-of-the- match award and I think he deserved it.
“And I hope with the performance that everyone put out there, they will get noticed by PSL or National First Division teams.
“I want these boys to get great opportunities that will change their lives, and winning at this stage to reach the last eight teams will only come as a bonus to us.
“I just want them to showcase their talents and that’s my objective.”
Bees mentor said if his players don’t receive any offers they could still promote the team to the NFD. The Bhisho-based outfit is currently at fourth position with 35 points on the 2017-18 ABC Motsepe League standings.
“One day I would also like to point at a player on TV, maybe playing for Chiefs or Sundowns and say I was part of that boy’s development and success. So if they leave I would be very proud but then again if they fail to get a team it’s still fine. We can still work our way up.”
Njedu said the motivation he and his technical team provided to the entire squad went a long way in keeping their team spirit strong. He said selecting the 18-man squad that was required to attend their away match in Limpopo was a challenge.
“The boys need to own the team so that no matter what happens they are happy. Like now most of our boys are young and we had to make them understand why others had to stay behind.
“Why we had to select 18 players from 25 good guys, and that was the most difficult task we as management ever had to make.
“But most importantly we had to mentally manage the ones we were leaving behind – so they could be content with our decisions.
“Because a person’s heart can make you fail because they weren’t happy with your decision regarding them staying behind,” said Njedu.
Bees will now turn their attention to their third-tier league fixture against Highbury at Bhisho Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Nedbank Cup last 16 teams’ draw will be conducted live on February 15 at 7.30pm on SuperSport 4.
By MFUNDO PILISO – DispatchLIVE