1 June 2018 – Mthatha Bucks were the only Eastern Cape Province team in the 2017/18 NFD season. Their last place finish in the league table means their three year stay in South African football’s second tier is over, leaving Eastern Cape without a representative there. Newly-crowned Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League Champions Tornado FC are ready to fill the void left behind by Mthatha Bucks via the playoffs which are about to kickoff in Polokwane on Monday, 4 June, and their coach Tshepo Motsoeneng believes his has the right balance of talent and experience to do just that.
“We are ready to compete. We are ready to represent the Eastern Cape province with dignity whilst playing good football like we always do,” said Motsoeneng. “We have enough experience where it matters. We have players like Senzo Ndlovu, formerly of Amatuks and Supersport United, Phuthi Lokwalane, formerly with JDR, has been in playoffs too, just to name a few,” added Motsoeneng.
Tornado are drawn in Group A alongside Northwest Province champions Buya Msuthu and the host province champions, The Dolphins FC. They will begin their playoffs campaign with a meeting against Buya Msuthu at the Seshego Stadium at 3 p.m. Jun. 5 before meeting The Dolphins in the following day at the same venue at 12:30 p.m.
Motsoeneng told SAFA.net that despite the talent and experience his squad possesses, it will be critical for his boys to settle very quickly.
“It will be very important for us to be able to take the game away from The Dolphins and Buya Msuthu. If we can manage to be in total control of the game in our opening 15 minutes, it will allow even those inexperienced players to quickly gain that much needed confidence so they could play their normal game. Once we reach that stage, know that mother nature has invaded the city,” he crowed.