Thabiso Kutumela (left) wants to make new Telkom Knockout memories. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Maritzburg United star forward Thabiso Kutumela has vowed to erase the bad memories of last year’s edition of the Telkom Knockout by inspiring his new side to a fantastic run in the same competition.

The Team of Choice host Highlands Park at the Harry Gwala Stadium in a quarter-final clash tomorrow (8pm).

Kutumela missed out on his maiden silverware when Orlando Pirates lost to Baroka FC in the final last season.

“I want to win this cup. The feeling of losing to Baroka last season when I was still at Pirates is still in my heart. I’m still in pain from that loss. And what made it worse was that it was against my former team. I now want to win it here,” Kutumela explained.

The Team of Choice are brimming with confidence having scored four victories on the trot.

“We have a competitive squad that can compete on all fronts. All we have to do is to take it one game at a time. For us, every game is like a cup final,” he added.

The Lions of the North have proven they are no pushovers. They were in the MTN8 final which they lost to Supersport United and Kutumela says that will see Owen Da Gama’s team come to Pietermaritzburg high on confidence.

“Highlands Park is a difficult team to play against. And they’ve just been to a final, so they will believe they can get to another one. But our aim is to keep our supporters happy on Friday. The team is now gaining momentum and we want to continue on that note. I believe we can make it to the final with the team that we have.”

Like Maritzburg, Kutumela is also still searching for his first piece of silverware in top flight football. A few seasons ago he lifted the National First Division trophy with Baroka FC. He won the Golden Boot in that campaign. But he wants to enjoy club success in the elite league.

“It will be a big honour for me if I can win silverware in top flight football. Last season, I came close but failed in the final. I even missed a penalty. It wasn’t a good feeling at all.”

The Team of Choice will be out to replicate the form they displayed two seasons ago when they reached the Nedbank Cup final, which they lost 1-0 to Free State Stars at the Cape Town Stadium.

With Eric Tinkler at the helm they will have reason to believe they can reach the final. The former Bafana Bafana midfielder reached cup finals during his time with Orlando Pirates, Cape Town City and SuperSport United. It was only at Chippa United where he failed to reach a final.

And with Kutumela on a mission to make amends for last season, Maritzburg should be favourites to advance.

@minehlecr7


The Mercury

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