|Gift Sithole © Gallo Images
Saturday marks a huge day in the short history of Chippa United, when the club makes its PSL debut, against one of the giants of South African football, Mamelodi Sundowns.
The game takes place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, with kick off scheduled for 20H15.
The 2012/ 2013 season will be only the third of Chippa’s existence, during which time they have gained back-to-back promotions, fast tracking their way to the top in spectacular style and showing that with hard work dreams can come true on the football field.
The club’s philosophy is closely linked with owner Chippa Mpengesi’s strong religious beliefs, and on Thursday a special prayer service was held at a local church ahead of the new season.
Just over two years ago, several of Chippa’s players that are still part of today’s squad were battling it out with the likes of Glendene United, Salt River Blackpool and Peace Makers in the Western Cape region of the Second Division.
On Saturday they will now be up against some of the most respected players in the country, household names such as Teko Modise, Elias Pelembe, Nyasha Mushekwi, Edward Manqele and Lebogang Mokoena.
But ahead of the big game, Chilli Boys captain and central defender Gift Sithole is remaining grounded and claims its business as usual for him and his team-mates.
“We’re ready for them. Preparations have been good and we are ready to play. I can’t say much about Sundowns. Its about looking at ourselves, going out there and doing our best and most importantly, playing together as a team,” Sithole told PSL.co.za.
The club has not spent excessively in the transfer market, with the bulk of last season’s squad expected to do duty again, and Sithole believes they have what it takes to compete with the big guns.
“We were hungry last season to play in the PSL, and now that we are there, we’re going to make the most of our chance and ensure that we are successful.
“The players we have are very capable of competing, and we are combining well under the new coach, Manqoba Mngqithi. We might not have had much of a break after the play-offs, but we are fresh and fit as we are professionals. We’re learning a lot from the coach, and to us he is more than just a coach, he’s a brother,” said Sithole.