DURBAN – Bokang Tlhone was in a jovial mood last season with Bidvest Wits as they lifted the Telkom Knockout crown at the expense of Bloemfontein Celtic at Princess Magogo Stadium.
Now, the Maritzburg United fullback is facing a difficult endeavour of putting one over his old team.
The Team of Choice will lock horns against defending Telkom Knockout champions Wits on Saturday at 8.15pm in a quarter-final tie at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
Wits is oozing confidence and gunning for history in this year’s edition of the TKO. They want to be the second side in the history of the competition to defend their crown.
Kaizer Chiefs are the only side to attain that feat.
Tlhone, who was on the books of Wits last season when they were crowned champions, is eager to end the dream for the Clever Boys, but is cognisant that it won’t be easy.
“It is going to be a different ball game because this is a knockout competition. If we beat Wits, it will be a great stepping stone towards reaching the final and changing our season.
“We know the feeling of being in a cup final, and we want to make it second (in two seasons) and win it this time around.
“It won’t be easy against the defending champions. They will come out guns blazing, but we want to beat them,” Tlhone said.
Last season, United went all the way to the final of the Nedbank Cup, only to lose to Free State Stars in Cape Town.
Tlhone won’t be out to prove his worth against his former employers.
“No, I don’t have anything to prove. I enjoyed my short stay with Wits. I reached my first cup final (in top-flight football). I left on good terms, so I don’t have anything to prove,” he added.
Wits are in rampant form and are at the summit of the Absa Premiership standings, while United have to bounce back from the defeat against Polokwane City last weekend.
“The result against Polokwane City was not a true reflection of the game. What we learned is that if you don’t take your chances, that comes back to haunt you at a later stage,” Tlhone added.