This week’s DoRego’s revolving blog features Maluti FET College’s Lucas Penze.
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to Soccer-Laduma for giving me this opportunity. Maluti FET College ia a small team that plays in the Vodacom League. Most of our players are students and we are third on the league table, with three games remaining this season. We train twice a day – at 07h00 and then again at 14h00. In our team, we don’t have stars. Everyone is equal. If one player earns R100, the other one will earn R100. That’s why we work as a team and we die as a team. With that said, we earn about R2 000 a month, which is a far cry from what the Orlando Pirates players get. I think that’s why maybe they went into the game relaxed, thinking they are playing against students who play a few divisions below them. But they didn’t know anything about us!
Look, we were training very hard when we heard that we were going to play Pirates. We knew that we were going to come up against the defending PSL champions and so we had our work cut out for us. But, having said that, we knew exactly how to beat them and the good thing was that we were a closed book to them. They were an open book to us! We knew where Oupa Manyisa was going to run when he got the ball or where he would be looking to pass the ball. We made sure we closed down the channels so that they didn’t play the kind of game they like to play. Every time they had the ball, you saw Maluti behind the ball. We believe in pace and I think they couldn’t cope with our pace on the day. We did our homework and planned properly for them. Besides the league, that was the last cup left for Pirates to win this season and, to be fair, I think they wanted to win it. They haven’t gone to a cup final this season and they were hungry for this one, but unfortunately they found us in an uncompromising mood.
The standard of football is starting to grow in South Africa. When you see a small team like Maluti beating a giant of South African football by a 4-1 score line, you know that the young boys are showing more hunger. The other thing that worked to our advantage on the day was the heat. We knew that they weren’t going to cope with our speed. You saw that we were enjoying ourselves out there and we managed to produce miracles. We also knew that in those hot conditions, their ‘big animals’ wouldn’t want to run.
The spirit was so high in the dressing room after the game, hey. Everyone was so excited that we had just beaten Pirates. The stage was ours and we were very, very happy. If you look at it, 99% of people out there didn’t believe in us. They said, ‘Pirates will beat them. They will walk all over them.’ But we didn’t have any point to prove to those people. We just went out there and played our game. Obviously Pirates are a big team and we had to give them the respect they deserve, but we knew we were capable of competing with them. Our coach was very proud of us and told us that he was impressed with the way we played, and the fact that we won was a bonus. He is a father figure to us. He is a good coach and a good motivator. If you are not doing well, he will push you so that you get back to your best. The bottom line is that we have rewritten the history books in the Free State.
Who would we like next? Any team, my friend, any team! As for me, I’d like to face a team like AmaZulu or Mamelodi Sundowns. Eish, I wouldn’t like to face Kaizer Chiefs at this stage because they are South Africa’s Barcelona. At least I know if we play against Sundowns we have a chance. They are good, but not in all departments. Their strikers and midfielders are good, but defensively they are suspect. If we keep on working hard, we will surprise a lot of teams. In fact, I would like to see some of our players going on to play for PSL teams because we have a talented bunch here. I have a strong belief that we will do well in this competition and even reach the final. Anything is possible if we believe in ourselves.
As a player, there’s a lot that I want to achieve. I’ve been in football for a long time but I’ve never got the opportunity to showcase my talent at the highest level. I’d like to see myself somewhere so that I can help my family and make a name for myself.
My message to our fans is that they must keep on supporting us and we will do better and we won’t let them down. We were encouraged with the support they gave us on Saturday and it will spur us on to do more and more.
Maluti FET College