DURBAN - Maritzburg United talisman Andrea Fileccia has vowed to deliver on Saturday.
The ‘Team of Choice’ will battle for the R7 million purse and a spot in the Caf Confederation Cup when they face Free State Stars in the final of the Nedbank Cup at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday at 3pm.
Fileccia has been in fine form in-front of goals in the cup, having netted three times in four matches. The Belgian international wants to finish the tournament with another strike in the final.
“We worked so hard to reach this cup final. That was one of our goals at the starts of the season, “ Fileccia stated. “We want to bring the trophy to Maritzburg.
"This has been my best season in South Africa and this has also been the best season in the club’s history. I’ve scored three goals in this competition and I want to add to that tally on Saturday. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the game. We will give it our all.”
Fileccia has been in red-hot form since the departure of Evans Rusike, who left the club in January and joined SuperSport.
“I don’t have anything to prove against Free State. Yes, they are my former team but I will treat it as a normal game. I want to win my first trophy in South Africa,” Fileccia said.
Fileccia’s tenure is coming to an end in June but the club have an option to extend his contract for an another year.
Meanwhile, Maritzburg will get a home MTN 8 quarterfinal against Cape Town City after finishing fourth on the log this season.
Very happy to announce that we have finished the @OfficialPSL league at the 4️⃣th position !
This season has been the best ever done for @MaritzburgUtd ! #Proud
Now let’s focus on the most important game of the season against Free State Stars. #NedBankCupFinal #2018 pic.twitter.com/yJed4QUtW9
This after history was made on Saturday as all three KwaZulu-Natal teams campaigning in the top flight of South African football in qualified for the MTN 8 and they want to keep that trend going in years to come.
AmaZulu will travel to Pretoria to lock horns with Mamelodi Sundowns, while Lamontville Golden Arrows have a trip to Orlando Stadium where they will face Pirates.
KZN teams have been accustomed for fighting relegation over the past few years but it was a different story this season. Arrows coach Clinton Larsen described the club’s top 8 finish as a step forward.
“If you look at the bottom and where Baroka finished after being at the top for three quarters of the season, it is crazy. It was same thing for us: we had a great start, poor middle period and strong at the end. It has been hectic season,” Larsen explained.
"This achievement basically just says there’s growth at Arrows. We took over two and half season ago. We finished 9th (in the first season) which was respectable coming from the NFD. Last season we were 8th and this season we are 7th. We’re showing a lot of growth and progress. The stability is important
“I’m proud and happy about my boys. This is great for KZN football to have all three representatives playing in the MTN 8. That’s again shows that football is healthy in the province, but we need to work even harder.
"We’ve got the ability as KZN teams. We have to improve and even more stronger. We need to push on from here. This should be consistent in our achievements."
United have been marvelous to watch this season, and coach Fadlu Davids feels that the football is on up in KZN.
“Well done to Cavin Johnson at AmaZulu and well done to Clinton at Arrows. KZN people can be proud of new force. KZN teams can once again be amongst the top teams,” Davids explained.
Usuthu coach Cavin Johnson was astonished that his side finished in the top 8.
“It is more of a bonus for the club. We never planned to be in top 8. We always planned to play good football. We wanted to keep our status and build again next season. We have proved a lot of people wrong. The MTN8 is just a start. If you prepare well maybe you can win R8 million. Let us hope we can do that with AmaZulu.”