THERE’S something different about this year’s Nedbank Ke Yona Team.
For starters, they have 10 players from Gauteng – and the team is hungrier and more determined than ever to showcase their talent.
There is also an element of sibling rivalry, as SuperSport United’s Aubrey Modiba (22) will square off with his brother, Ke Yona Team’s Justin Modiba (21).
It has never happened before in this tournament that two brothers will be playing on opposite ends.
Ke Yona coaches Khabo Zondo, Owen Da Gama, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba and Mike “Sporo” Mangena are confident they will get a good result, having played second fiddle for the past four years.
The four believe they can do the unthinkable – starting with actually registering a goal for the first time since the talent scouting initiative started in 2013.
The Ke Yona Team will meet SuperSport for the second year in a row at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Sunday (3pm).
Matsatsantsa a Pitori edged them 1-0 at Daveyton’s Sinaba Stadium last year.
Scoring a goal against the Nedbank Cup champions this year will be seen as a massive achievement.
In 2013 Ke Yona lost to Kaizer Chiefs on penalties before losing 2-0 to Orlando Pirates the following year and succumbing to another 2-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in 2015.
Their closest defeat was last year when they conceded only one goal.
The Ke Yona players are eager to use this platform to audition for Premier Soccer League (PSL) contracts with the teams they were drafted into.
Team captain Kamogelo Magotlane said: “This time around we want a different outcome. We owe it to Nedbank. If we give our best performance we will win. We cannot allow SuperSport to defeat us twice in succession.
“Last year’s group made me believe we can do it if we stay focused.”
In the last four years 12 players have graduated to the National First Division and the PSL thanks to this initiative, and more of the same should be expected from this year’s crop.