I have an opportunity to chat to you once again following all the travelling we did last week. It was due to a very tight week that I was unable to write my column last week.
The Vodacom Challenge has come and gone and it was a great pleasure for me and everyone here to take part in such a competitive tournament. The Challenge was a very good test for the players. It was also an opportunity for us, the Technical Team to measure our preparations since we started back in June. It was good to see other players who could not feature during the Premier’s Cup and Persian Tour in action during the Challenge.
The tournament was a very good experience for the players - something that I think is going to help us ahead of the upcoming season. Despite the win, there are areas of improvement and we were back at work on Tuesday polishing areas of concern. We are taking everything step by step.
Our main focus this season is the Premiership. We also have a very important game coming up against Bidvest Wits University next week Tuesday. I therefore cannot start making predictions about the upcoming season based on our Vodacom Challenge victory, all I know is that more work is waiting for us ahead.
We lost the services of Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane) against Orlando Pirates due to an injury. Yeye is a strong boy and I am confident that he will return to the field sooner than expected. We will not rush him to action though. The injury to Valery (Nahayo) against Man City was not serious as initially thought and he is back at training with his teammates.
Jimmy Tau, Wayne Matle, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Dominic Isaacs started their preseason training today (Tuesday, 28 July 2009). It is safe to say the ball is in their court now. They will all have to work hard to be at the same level as other players and we will give them all the necessary support to ensure they meet the required targets. It is very important for the injured players to fill part of the team and not to be isolated in our preparations.
Our new home: The Orlando Stadium
I am delighted that we will be playing our games at Orlando Stadium and we will not share the stadium with rugby. The condition of the pitch there is top class and walking around last week when we launched our new Nike jersey I could not hold back the excitement of playing our games in Soweto.
I have already heard that some of the Club’s great players including our Chairman, Mr. Kaizer Motaung played there but we are hoping to create new memories in a newly built stadium. It is something special for the Club to play our games there and I am confident that our fans are going to come out in numbers in support of the team.
We are coming up against Orlando Pirates again this coming weekend in Rustenburg. We know that they will be coming very hard following their loss against us in the Vodacom Challenge. The Charity Tournament for us is another opportunity to sharpen our arsenal before the season. The tournament will bring us closer to the combination we want for us going forward.
The supporters have already given me a nickname, “Vik’zembe, I am not yet sure what it means at this stage but I am very grateful for the gesture they have shown in me. They have been very supportive since the Premier’s Cup and I was touched every time we touch down at the airport to find them waiting singing and blowing vuvuzelas.
Their support is going to be crucial in the success of the team this season and I am looking forward seeing all of you in Rustenburg on Saturday.