The DStv Premiership defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns open the new season this weekend in a mammoth clash when they come face-to-face with Kaizer Chiefs in their opening encounter of the new Premier Soccer League season.
The two giants will lock horns in the prestigious MTN 8 Cup competition, with many supporters from both sides of the coin expecting a thrilling encounter. It was just last season when Masandawana and the Glamour Boys took centre stage as they opened up the season in the DStv Premiership. As fate would have it, the two teams will meet once again in the grand opening weekend of a major tournament.
Experienced goalkeeper Denis Onyango, says the upcoming encounter will provide a golden occasion to get the team into the rhythm of the new season and test the waters of their new talent:
“It’s a very big encounter for us and of course for them, because they really want to win the first game and get into the semi-finals of the MTN8, but we’re also looking forward to it the same since we’ve been struggling to win the MTN8. It’s a very difficult game but it gives the opportunity also for the boys to start off with a strong side and try to get good results, and get momentum to take us throughout the season.” said Onyango.
“Playing an opening game against Kaizer Chiefs is always mouth-watering, just like last season. [However] this season it’s different because it’s a cup game, last season it was a league match, those are two different competitions and the approaches are not the same.”
The international shot-stopper briefly touched on the responsibilities that come with going into the new season as a champion: “As defending champions there is always pressure. Even if we were not defending champions of the league, there is always pressure at Sundowns to perform and try to win as much as we can because the club invests a lot into the players and they expect the players to deliver.”
“There is pressure from the first game, we just need to deal with it and try to win as much as we can because we know that everyone is gunning for us. We know we have the ability to win games and win trophies and we have the mandate to deliver trophies.”
Onyango added, “It’s going to be difficult and very tough but we are used to such situations and we believe that if we get the momentum in the first few games it will carry us on to winning more games in the season. We believe that pressure will drive us and give us the motivation to win the games, and hopefully things turn out good for us in the season.”
Masandawana will enter the new season with an abundance in quality, and Onyango stated how excited he is to see the competition within the team drive Bafana Ba Style forward:
“Everyone is fighting for their position, trying to get into the first eleven that will play in the opening game against Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN 8, that’s good for competition, it brings the best out of every player.”
Onyango makes up a large part of the tight-knit goalkeeping department at Sundowns and he closed off by shared some positive words about the preparations for the new season: “For me I think it has been fantastic for the guys even though I was still struggling with a finger injury that I sustained last season but the other guys Reyaad [Pieterse], [Ricardo] Goss and Kennedy [Mweene] have been doing well. Everything has been fantastic with the boys and we’re hoping that the results go our way when we play the opening game,” concluded the Ugandan international.
/ 11 months ago
Sierra Leone FA President who also doubles up as CAF Executive Council member Madam...