Chippa United players and technical team received a morale boost ahead of the Nedbank Cup final encounter against Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Free State Stadium today (18:00).
The Chilli Boys were graced by the visit of the Premier of the Eastern Cape province Oscar Mabuyane, who shared some few words with them.
Mabuyane told the team that they are carrying the hopes of the whole province with them and they will be representing all the people of Eastern Cape, in the final and should they win the trophy it will be a cherry on top.
“It will mean a lot, getting that Cup will be a cherry on top, already for them to go as far as the final, eliminating as many teams as possible.
“Knowing that in the PSL we have 16 teams (and other 16 from the GladAfrica Championship) and now we are left with two. That tells you the hard work that has been put to this team,” he said.
“We are really looking forward to the day and we are quite optimistic that Chippa United are going to make us proud.
“They are the pride of our province, soccer is our life in this province, people of this province love soccer, love cricket, love rugby,” said Mabuyane.
The Premier also emphasized the importance of motivating young people through winning. He believes that Chippa United’s victory in the final will encourage young people who look up to the players.
“We are definitely looking at young people, they (player) are really an inspiration to many younger people who are looking up to them, there in our townships and rural areas. They are playing their part to help us unearth that talent, which is actually hidden somewhere.
“We have hidden gems here, young people who are very talented, who are looking up to these players,” elaborated Mabuyane.
He further touched on the impact of having a team playing in the PSL from the province, as it contributes towards the growth of tourism.
“For us this is no longer just about entertainment or extramural activity, it’s about business, it’s about economic activity and it’s about tourism.
“If you have a team playing in the Premier Soccer League in your province, with these other 15 teams to visit in your own province it means a lot for us in the tourism space.”
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter