Maema: Playing in Bloemfontein was emotional

Mamelodi Sundowns player, Neo Maema, says it was emotional to play in front of Bloemfontein Celtic fans when Masandawana took on Marumo Gallants in the Nedbank Cup.

The City of Roses has not had a professional team since Siwelele were sold, relocated to KZN and renamed Royal AM in July 2021. And Maema, who started his career at Celtic, had an opportunity to play in front of his home crowd.

“It was very emotional to play in Bloemfontein; and to see supporters who came out in numbers,” the Sundowns player says.

“The way they sang for myself, Thapelo [Morena], Sifiso [Ngobeni] who also came from Celtic – the way they supported us was very emotional. I was happy that we could go back because Bloemfontein is my home town and there hasn’t been so much football [in the city].

I’m glad that I could the one that could be there and play that game.”

After the 3-1 win over Marumo Gallants on Thursday, Sundowns shifted their focus to the DStv Premiership against Stellenbosch. And Maema believes that the Cape Town side will be different to the team Sundowns beat 3-0 at the beginning of the season.

“This is a very difficult match because we didn’t have a lot time to recover after the match against Marumo Gallants. We only arrived back from Bloemfontein on Friday.

“The conditions in Cape Town will be different and we also expect a very different team from the one we played in the first round. They are different now in how they approach matches and they are also highly motivated because they have won three matches in a row.

They have Iqraam Rayners, who joined them from Supersport United, he has a lot speed up front. Junior Mendieta is influential going forward.

They have [Devon] Titus who came through their development ranks, I think they pose a great threat when going forward and we need to be aware of that. They have [Deano] van Rooyen and Sibongiseni Mthethwa who are also influential. Their coach [Steve Barker] trust them with build ups and going forward.

Playing at home in Cape Town will be an advantage for them.”

The match will be played at Danie Craven Stadium and kick off time is 15h30.

By Zola Doda

*Image courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns.

error: Content is protected !!