DURBAN – Cape Town has already been announced as the location for the Nedbank Cup final on May 19, but the protagonists for the spectacle are yet to be determined.
Maritzburg United defender Bevan Fransman will do everything in his power to be part of the occasion in Cape Town, though.
The Team of Choice will battle it out with former African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the semi-final of the competition at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday at 3pm.
The winners will face either Kaizer Chiefs or Free State Stars. Fransman was born and bred in Cape Town, and that is one of the reasons we will see the best of him come Sunday.
“It will be fantastic to be in the final in my home town. It is always special to play in your home town and that’s why I want to be part of the final. Having said that though, the final is the final; even if it was in Upington, I was going to be happy to play the final."
The 34-year old defender started his football career in Cape Town at FC Fortune back in 2001. Fransman has been playing professional football for the past 17 years and if his side does advance in to the final it won’t be his last match.
“I’m nowhere near to my last game. No ways, I think I’m still too young for that. When that time comes you will know,” Fransman smiled.
Sundowns has been a free-scoring team in the league this season. They have netted 44 strikes in 27 league outings. The mercurial Percy Tau has been their chief source of inspiration in front of goal.
“We don’t have necessarily a plan for any individual; you know at Sundowns you plan for one individual and you’ve got another five to six individuals that can take that space of Percy Tau and put the ball in the net. You can’t plan for one player, that is insane but at the end of the day we have to plan for Sundowns as a collective. That’s what we can do and that’s how we’re going to do it,” Fransman said.
The former Kaizer Chiefs defender hasn’t won a cup in a while now. Fransman won two Israel State Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2012 during his stint with Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
“They are on a good run at moment. The way they have gone about getting results has been fantastic. The game management for them as been good. We know what we are up against. They’ve got quality all over.”
“Our focus is to get into the final. The last time I won a cup was in 2012. I lost two cups with SuperSport United. For me personally it will really be fantastic to play in the final again. Be on the big stage once more.”
United collected the scalp of Sundowns in the quarter-final of the MTN 8 at the start of the season.
“We don’t even bring that game into consideration. That game was eight or nine months back. Sundowns have changed considerably and we’ve also changed considerably as individuals. That game is long gone.”
“We have to focus on the current game and current squad, and current opponent. We are definitely confident and the desire to go to the cup final is there. We missed out on the first one in the Super 8. It was a hard knock to take."
“We don’t want to have the same feeling this time,” Fransman concluded.