The Citizen (KZN)

Fairytale run gives AmaTuks hope

- Katlego Modiba

AmaTuks coach Tlisane Motaung (right) is using their fairytale run in the 2009 Nedbank Cup as a reference point for their aspiration­s this season.

It was under then coach Steve Barker when the class of 2009 went all the way to the final, where they eventually lost to Moroka Swallows. A lot of players earned big moves to premiershi­p teams following the cup run that saw them knock out Kaizer Chiefs among others.

The University of Pretoria have been handed a tough draw in quarterfin­als of the competitio­n this season. Mamelodi Sundowns will understand­ably be overwhelmi­ng favourites to progress to the next round.

“The approach is the same but we will take one game at a time. Every game that we play is important. Whether it’s the Nedbank Cup or a league match, we’ve got enough players to compete,” said Motaung, who is also chasing automatic promotion back to the DStv Premiershi­p.

“Anyone who is given an opportunit­y will not take it for granted and they will all come to the party. Some of them are still very young and they need this platform to showcase their talent.

“In 2009 when we played against Moroka Swallows, nobody knew who Andile Jali was. He found himself on a platform like this and he took it with both hands.

“In the league, we believed that we could get automatic promotion before we started and even today we still have belief and that desire.”

AmaTuks are just one point behind log leaders Magesi FC in the Motsepe Foundation Championsh­ip with nine games left to play. Motaung highlighte­d what has been working for them as they also target an upset against Sundowns in the season-ending cup competitio­n.

“Playing aggressive­ly is part of our game. We are a bit more direct in our approach and our nature is that we have to be aggressive,” he said.

“We take it from training and at times, it becomes unfortunat­e for us because we end up getting red cards and some of them are debatable, but aggression is part of our game.”

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