Milford hoping to pull off giant-killing act against Chiefs

Nkululeko Buthelezi. | BackpagePix

Nkululeko Buthelezi. | BackpagePix

Published Feb 21, 2024


Smiso Msomi

Motsepe Foundation Championship side Milford FC are raring to go at the prospect of eliminating Kaizer Chiefs from the Nedbank Cup.

The two teams will meet for the first time in the last 32 of the Ke Yona competition on Sunday at the FNB Stadium at 3pm. The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit is in its first season in the second tier of South African football after being regular competitors in the ABC Motsepe League for a number of years.

Although struggling near the bottom of their league, Milford have an opportunity to go toe to toe with one of the biggest clubs in the country.

According to Milford head coach Nkululeko Buthelezi, who spoke to the media ahead of this encounter, his players have a different sparkle in their eyes this week and are eager to put one over their more illustrious opponents.

“What I can say is the people that are most excited about this match are the players themselves, more than us (technical team and management), with regards to playing Chiefs. I think they’ll do everything in their power to ensure that they beat them because they’re more fired up.”

He went on to joke about the loyalties of the club’s ownership.

He said: “The owners of the club are Chiefs supporters themselves so I’m not sure about them, but the players I can definitely tell you want to win the match.”

The Glamour Boys have famously been on the wrong end of a number of shock results in the Nedbank Cup. Chiefs have been eliminated in the past by Acornbush, FC Cape Town, Baroka, Richards Bay and most memorably TS Galaxy in 2019, when they were still in the second division.

Buthelezi was quizzed on whether he and his team had discovered the secret to overcoming Chiefs in this competition. He explained that Milford would not have to follow any blueprint created by other lower-league teams that had eliminated Chiefs, but had hatched their own scheme for this encounter.

“As far as I can tell, they had their own plan on how they were going to beat Chiefs at the time, the same way we have our own at the moment,” he said.

“The strategies will always differ but we are also ready to face them and I can guarantee that we will make it difficult for them.”

Milford are currently in 12th place in the Motsepe Foundation Championship, just two points away from bottom-placed Platinum City. Having failed to win a match after two outings this year, the Richards Bay-based outfit is eager to get a boost in morale and the scalp of Chiefs might provide just that.

Milford’s clash with Chiefs is one of eight fixtures between DStv Premiership sides and lower-league opposition.

The Nedbank Cup remains the only competition were Chiefs can still grab silverware this season after the Soweto giants missed out on the MTN8 and Carling KO. A 14-point deficit to Premier League leaders Mamelodi Sundowns sees Chiefs comfortably out of the title race.

The last time Chiefs won the Nedbank Cup was in 11 years ago, when they beat SuperSport United 1-0 in the 2013 final.

Nkululeko Buthelezi. | BackpagePix