Battle-scarred defender, Siyanda Xulu, has been to five domestic cup finals without winning one but he hasn’t given up on his ambition of capturing his maiden trophy in South African football. Photo:  Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Battle-scarred defender, Siyanda Xulu, has been to five domestic cup finals without winning one but he hasn’t given up on his ambition of capturing his maiden trophy in South African football. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Xulu hopes to break cup jinx

By minenhle mkhize Time of article published Feb 20, 2020

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Battle-scarred defender, Siyanda Xulu, has been to five domestic cup finals without winning one but he hasn’t given up on his ambition of capturing his maiden trophy in South African football.

The 28-year-old Maritzburg United defender shot to prominence with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2009 as a teenager. His only silverware came during his stint with FC Rostov in Russia. Addressing the media yesterday in Pietermaritzburg, Xulu revealed his desire to end his domestic barren run.

The Team of Choice will lock horns with Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup last 16 at Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday at 8.15pm.

“It is a worry, obviously, if you look at the number of finals that I’ve played for Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg. You can’t think too far ahead. For now, I just want to focus on the last 16. Maybe I’ll be able to grab my first silverware in South Africa,” Xulu explained.

Xulu competed in his first cup final in 2012 when he was still at Sundowns. They lost 2-0 to Tshwane rivals SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium.

Turbulent times in cup finals continued for Xulu when he joined Amakhosi. In his first six months with the Glamour Boys, the KwaMashu-born defender reached the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout finals but Chiefs lost both matches.

His unlucky run in domestic cup finals was also evident in 2018 when the Team of Choice failed to beat Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup final in Cape Town.

Xulu has already missed out on the Telkom Knockout this season. The Team of Choice were the runners-up of the competition as they lost 2-1 to Sundowns.

“I can’t compare the two teams. We tried our best in 2018 and it was one of our best seasons. We were in the final of the Nedbank Cup and finished in the top four," he reminisced.

Maritzburg are out to emulate their brilliance of 2018.

“We also want to be in the final and finish in the top eight like we did two seasons ago but we are taking one game at a time,” Xulu elaborated.

The Bafana Bafana defender is in the last six months of his contract with the Team of Choice and has indicated that he wants to stay with the Midlands club.

“It is always the case of financial muscle. Big teams are financially strong and they are the ones that can afford certain players. As for my future, I want to stay at the club but there are few things that we need to discuss with the chairman.

"Looking at my career, I’ve played for big teams before. I’m not really motivated by the badge of big teams anymore. I just want to achieve things on my own.

"You can achieve things at clubs like Maritzburg. I’ve reached two cup finals and finished in the top eight. It is very much achievable but it depends on the player, what he wants. Like I said, I would love to stay.”

@minenhlecr7

The Mercury

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