The Magic FC technical director George Dearnaley understands very well that there are things an amateur side can’t prepare for when facing a team like Kaizer Chiefs.
Dearnaley’s ABC Motsepe League outfit earned Sunday’s dream Nedbank Cup quarter-final clash against Kaizer Chiefs after knocking out National First Division side Maccabi FC 5-4 on penalties.
“The truth is this man, we are doing the best we can as an amateur team,” Dearnaley tells KickOff.com.
“This morning we trained at Athlone Stadium, but it’s only the second time we’ve been inside a stadium in nine months. The first time was three weeks ago when we played Maccabi at Dobsonville Stadium. So we’ve been inside a stadium twice in nine months.
“In Dobsonville there was a very small crowd, at training today there was no crowd. So you know on Sunday against Chiefs it will be only the first time inside a World Cup stadium, first time maybe there’s a big crowd so those are things we can’t prepare for you know.
“We just have to see how the players can do it on the weekend. But our form is good, we are unbeaten I think in our last eight games, we won our last two league games both of them four nil.
“So you know confidence is high but nobody in the club thinks that it will be easy. We all know it will be a very, very difficult game. I told the guys it will be the hardest game they have ever played in their lives. But we are looking forward to it, we are not scared, we are excited and we will do our best.”
Although The Magic FC are the only team from the SAFA amateur structures still in the competition and they are the home team in this encounter, they will host the PSL giants away from home in Port Elizabeth because of the unavailability of grounds in Cape Town.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be unfamiliar territory for his amateur players, but Dearnaley says they are used to not playing at home.
“You know we’ve already played six games in the Nedbank Cup to get to this point, and all six of those games were away games. You know even the games in Cape Town we never play them on our home ground so every game we’ve played so far is an away game. So we don’t see it as a negative,” he explained.
“It’s a pity that we can’t play here in front of our friends and our families. But it won’t affect the team, in fact it might even be an advantage to go away because the night before the game the guys will all be in the hotel, they will sleep properly they won’t have friends and family talking to them you know… maybe it’s a positive, we don’t have a problem with it.”
Article by: Sipho Mlotha