All set for the winds of change
Tornado stalwart feels team will gain promotion
Tornado defender Vuyisile Ntombaythethi is adamant that his side won’t choke in this year’s instalment of the ABC Motsepe League promotional playoffs.
The former Lamontville Golden Arrows defender is one of the key players that could help Tornado qualify for National First Division status – as they need to win all their games in Cape Town where the playoffs commence on Tuesday.
The Mdantsane outfit, who won the third-tier league backto-back, kick off their campaign against Mangaung United at noon on Tuesday. Ntombaythethi maintains that his side has learnt from the mistakes they made in last year’s playoffs in Polokwane.
He said defending their league title was just the beginning of big things the team wanted to achieve and now it was crunch time.
“The playoffs are the reason we were playing the league. Just like when you build a house, you have to start with the foundation and winning the league was our foundation for the playoffs. Now we have to fight in order to change our lives by getting promotion to National First Division,” said Ntombaythethi.
Should Tornado win the playoffs, they will receive a cheque for R1-million and East London will get to see them playing at NFD level.
Ntombaythethi said everyone in the team knows the stakes are high, and there would be no room for mistakes. “The three games we are going to play at the playoffs are more important than the 30 games we played during the season.
“We can’t lose three games after playing 30 entire games throughout the season. We can’t afford that hence I’m saying it’s crunchtime.
“We have to fight for one of the two positions available in NFD and all the guys agreed that we have to fight to better our situations back home.
“We still have the same objectives and vision we had when the league started, so I don’t believe we’ll choke at this stage and there’s no fluke in us being here. We’ll fight to the end.”
Last year Tornado couldn’t get beyond the group stages of the playoffs after drawing two games.
The team has left early in order to familiarise themselves with the weather conditions of the Mother City.
“We come from an area that has beaches, and Cape Town also has a beach hence we have a breeze. Last year we played in Limpopo and the sun burns in those areas. Here we just have to manage strong winds and we’ll do just fine.
“I won’t say much about Mangaung because I don’t know them. It’s not like in the upper leagues where you search for video footage and plan according to that.”
This season saw Tornado hosting Kaizer Chiefs in a Nedbank Cup last 16 encounter at Sisa Dukashe, a match the local lads lost in extra time with an own goal by talented young defender Abongile Twani.
The reigning champions are going into these playoffs without their chair, Siphiwo “Mawawa” Nyobo, who was shot and killed outside North End Stadium.
It’s not like in the upper leagues where you search for video footage