South African Under-23 national team head coach, Owen Da Gama is confident that this year’s Nedbank Ke Yona Team will come out victorious against reigning Nedbank Cup champions, Supersport United, at the Sinaba Stadium on Sunday, 4 September.
After leading the U23 national team, that included 2014 Ke Yona graduate and PSL Young Player of the Season, Maphosa Modiba, at the Rio Olympics, Da Gama headed straight to the High Performance Centre to finalise preparations with the team alongside Shakes Mashaba, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena.
The team, which has been selected from different parts of the country, has been under strict training programmes under the auspices of the Ke Yona selectors and sports scientists, and are determined to make history by becoming the first Ke Yona Team to win the Ke Yona Challenge since its 2013 inception.
Speaking at the team’s training camp, “Rubber Doll” as the coach is affectionately known, said that the team is responding well to the tactics and is ready to cause an upset against their more fancied opponents.
“Supersport United will be very tough to match, they are a very disciplined side with plenty of experience. However, we have a slight edge over them based on the fact that they have not seen any of our players. We have a solid team that just needs a bit of fine-tuning but come match day, we will give them a very tough match,” said a confident Da Gama.
Supersport United coach, Stuart Baxter said they would not undermine their opponents and would treat the encounter as any other important match.
“I think this is a great opportunity for football development in the country and a good initiative from the sponsors. With regards to playing them we are looking forward to a highly competitive match and will approach it like any other professional match and play to win” said Baxter.
Tickets to the Ke Yona Challenge are available for free at all Computicket and Shoprite Checkers stores. Fans are advised to bring their ID to collect a maximum of TWO tickets per person. The match gets underway at 15:00 and will be broadcast live on SABC 1.
Ke Yona Team TV Series:
Make sure you catch this week’s heart-warming episode of the Ke Yona Team where you’ll witness the squad visiting schools around Daveyton. Also get a glimpse of the team practicing in preparation for the much-anticipated match between Supersport United and the Ke Yona Team!