The anticipation and excitement are tangible as Head Coach Fadlu Davids and his men prepare for battle with SuperSport United in a second leg semi-final clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night, 20h15 kick off.
This after the Maritzburg United shocked Mamelodi Sundowns away from home in the opening round before claiming a credible 1-1 draw with SuperSport in the first leg in Pretoria.
Kadodia says cup runs such as these are crucial for the development of our club in terms of growing its brand in the region.
“It’s important to identify the value of the club, specifically in the Pietermaritzburg Midlands area," he said. "And the fact that over the years we have worked very hard to try and get some pride for the brand, and some pride for the city.
“There is our partnership with the City – the Msunduzi Municipality - and the value that both parties have received from this relationship. Qualifying for the top eight at the end of last season, now a step away from the final, the promotion of locally-born players to the first team, I think there has been great value all around.
“We have previously reached the Nedbank Cup semi-final (a defeat to Orlando Pirates under Steve Komphela), and the Telkom Knockout semi-final (also a defeat to Pirates, with Ernst Middendorp in charge).
“Now in the MTN8, we are potentially only one draw (a 0-0 would be enough on Saturday due to the away goals rule) from the final. The performance we put up at the Lucas Moripe Stadium showed us we have a strong chance of reaching the final.
“This competition, the Wafa Wafa, certainly brings a lot of excitement to the fans and to the players, because at the end of the day you have to win the cup to win the money (in the winner-takes-all format).”
The Chairman also praised the incredible support our club receives and is optimistic the ‘12th man’ factor could sway the tie Maritzburg’s way on Saturday.
“Playing at home in the second leg, we are looking for the fans to bring that excitement to the Harry Gwala Stadium, to help propel the team towards the final.
“Our supporters will play a key role. We’ve seen in the last few years the fans rallying very strongly behind the team. When we were on the brink of relegation the fans kept us afloat, and my target or mandate last season was to pay back the fans. Now we are a step away from getting to that final.
“The key to that will be our passionate fans at the Harry Gwala Stadium, fans that want to see the team going to the next level. The Harry Gwala Stadium is like the ‘bullring’ of South African football, when full to capacity, it can drive the side to victory. So we hope to see supporters in their numbers as the Team of Choice look to make history by reaching their first major cup final.”
Kadodia also paid tribute to the sizable impact made by Davids, who was initially a care-taker coach last season before taking over full time for the new campaign.
“The kind of brand of football the Head Coach is producing is becoming the talk of the country, and we would like that kind of football to continue; that’s been our vision all along, to play attractive football," he added.
“This is what we want our selling point to be – come and watch a game at the Harry Gwala and you can expect fireworks on the field, entertaining football from Maritzburg United.”
* Purchase your #MTN8 tickets from: @ticketprosa, #CNA, #Edgars #Jet & @postnet outlets! MTN subscribers will get 500MB of data at the Stadium *
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