Stage set for an epic Telkom Knockout Final

PLATINUM Stars coach Allan Freese has revealed that their driving determination to defend the Telkom Knockout trophy has been one of the key reasons for their return to the final.
Dikwena will contest the competition showpiece against SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, bidding to become the second most successful team behind Kaizer Chiefs in the tournament’s 32 year history.
Amakhosi have won the trophy 13 times with Stars sitting alongside a few clubs that have done it twice.
They will also be aiming to become the only team to win back-to-back titles after they beat Orlando Pirates in last year’s final at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
“When we started the competition we said that every round we play, we’d like to be in the draw for the next round,” Freese said. “It will be good for us to defend the trophy.
“We looked back and remembered the day we lifted the trophy last year. Everyone was true in spirit and we gathered every soul as we felt so strong in faith.
“There is nothing different with this year’s final and we will seek assistance from the one that grants us life, God! Players are ready, and the momentum at the team is really wonderful.”
Freese is hoping that his strike force of Ndumiso Mabena and Eleazar Rodgers will also come to the fore in Soweto. The pair shared four goals in their last match, including a hat-trick for the latter.
“Early in the season we had Mabena scoring,” he added. “He then went off the boil, but he also scored again in the last game.
“I’m just happy Eleazar Rodgers has scored a few too.”
One man that has been completely off colour this season has been Mogakolodi Ngele, the hero of last year’s final when he came off the bench to score a brace.
The Botswana international has mainly been injured this term, but is also no longer permanently on the books of Stars having signed for Mamelodi Sundowns at the start of the season, before being loaned back to Rustenburg.
“Tsotso hasn’t featured like he did last season because he hasn’t returned to his best fitness,” the coach added. “He will be part of the 18 on Saturday.
“But it’s got nothing to do with him not going to be our player in the new season. Because if he doesn’t play for us, I know his new team will also loan him somewhere.”

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