Thami Mkhize: Facing Stellies is going to be a bit tricky for us because we never watched a lot of their games. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City captain Thami Mkhize says he and his team face a “tricky” assignment in Saturday’s local Premiership derby against Stellenbosch at the Athlone Stadium (kick-off 6pm).

“Facing Stellies is going to be a bit tricky for us because we never watched a lot of their games in the National First Division last season,” said Mkhize. “The most important thing for us is to keep doing what we’ve been doing in training and to make sure we prepare ourselves well for them.”

City’s three previous seasons in the league that saw them finish in the top five should give them the belief that they can see off their provincial rivals, who are competing at the top level for the first time.

City’s home venue Cape Town Stadium isn’t ready to host soccer matches, hence the switch to Athlone where the Citizens went unbeaten in the few league matches they played there last season.

Playing derbies is good for the clubs and the people of Cape Town, says Thami Mkhize. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Playing derbies is good for the clubs and the people of Cape Town, says Thami Mkhize. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Mkhize said: “We never played derbies last season so it is good for the clubs and the people of Cape Town because we know they are passionate about football. We are also looking forward to playing our first game at home,” he said.

Mkhize didn’t have much of a pre-season. The 30-year-old right back returned to the club from Bafana duty following a short break.

“When I first came back to the club it was motivating for me to see all the young players pushing themselves and looking forward to the season, so I’m hopeful we will have a better season (than last when City finished fourth in the standings).

Also, the club’s new signings are quality players who will beef up the team.”

Mike de Bruyn