Sikhosana, coach of the Gauteng regional league champions, said that he has full confidence that his players will find the back of the opposition’s net and only laced up his boots for a few matches this season, to inspire his strikers who went through a short-term lean patch of form.
“Most of our goals come from the midfielders, but I only played because I was a bit frustrated when the goals were not coming during the season, but we have turned that corner and I am sure we will give a good account of ourselves at the playoffs,” said Sikhosana, adding that his team only suffered two defeats during the regional league season.
According to Sikhosana, the club management have offered financial incentives to the players should they deliver the Vodacom League national title or promotion to the National First Division, but would not elaborate on the financial amounts offered.
“Our goalkeeper Collen Makhanya has quite a bit of PSL experience having played in the top flight with Maritzburg Classic, while midfielder Thabiso Manyama, has quite a bit of skill and pace which could be a thorn in the flesh of many of the sides at the week-long tournament,” said Sikhosana.
The nine regional champions, namely Vasco da Gama (Western Cape), William Pescod (Northern Cape), Bush Bucks (Eastern Cape), Island FC (KwaZulu Natal), M Tigers (Gauteng), Carara Kicks (Free State) Classic (Limpopo), City of Matlosana (North West) and Barberton City Stars (Mpumalanga), will be in action, while an arbitration hearing on Monday, will decide whether the runners-up in each region will also be able to take part.
Earlier this year, a Safa letter informed the regions that the runners-up will be eligible to participate at the playoffs, although the national body has since stated that the letter was not authorised for distribution and only the champions of the regions will play.
After a heated discussion, Safa and the representatives of the nine disgruntled runner-up clubs, agreed on Monday, that the matter would not go the legal route and would be decided at an arbitration session to be held on Monday.
Whatever the outcome of the arbitration session, both parties have agreed to abide by the findings.