RAE: WE HAVE GREAT PLAYERS AT MARITZBURG WHO CAN COMPETE
25 February 2021
A place in the Nedbank Cup last eight is the prize when Maritzburg United host Orlando Pirates in a round of 16 encounter at the harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday evening.
Kick off in the KwaZulu-Natal capital is set for 18H00.
The Team of Choice earned their spot in the last 16 with a 2-1 win over GladAfrica Championship side Sekhukhune FC.
Pirates also overcame second tier opposition in the previous round – they beat Uthongathi 1-0.
The Soweto giants already have silverware in their trophy cabinet this season – the MTN8, and they will provide formidable opposition.
“Pirates are a tough team always, a very good team, very good players that they have there,” commented Maritzburg United’s new signing, Ryan Rae.
“But I don’t think we should be afraid, we have great players who can compete here at Maritzburg United.
“A lot of experience and also a lot of youthful energy. So I don’t think we should be scared, we should be excited, and we should challenge them. Anything can happen if we work as a team and I think that is the most important thing,” Rae added.
“Cups are different to the league. Watching the team, the performances haven’t been bad, its just been unlucky moments here and there. Getting a good result in the cup could definitely push us forward in the league to show us what we can actually do.”
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Rae has settled in well in Pietermaritzburg and says he’s keen to work under head coach Ernst Middendorp.
“Maritzburg have always been a difficult club to play against, so I’m happy to be part of the club. With the amount of respect I have for the club, its been phenomenal the way I have been accepted here. Its always been a professional-looking club and the setup I’ve seen so far has been amazing - very excited to be here.
“All the players who I’ve spoke to who have played under coach Middendorp have always told me, he’s a great coach, always demanding, strict with his players, but also very enjoyable in his training sessions.
“Even in the match when things are not going well he keeps on encouraging you and I’ve been very blessed to work under such an established coach, I’m very excited to work under him.”
The last time Maritzburg and Pirates met in the Nedbank was in the 2014, when Bucs won a semifinal encounter 2-1.
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