#TuksFootball: “…we make up with passion and football savviness. We know how to play the game,” says Frank Mpedi of AmaTuks

Posted on May 14, 2022

A home victory and at least three goals against the Hungry Lions are needed if AmaTuks wants to secure a DStv Premiership promotion from the GladAfrica Championship on Sunday, 15 May.

AmaTuks vice-captain, Frank Mpedi, admits it is a tall order, but there is no way that he and his teammates won't be going for it. 

"Since 2018, the one thing I wanted to tick off on my bucket list is to help Tuks secure their PSL promotion status, and now we are in with a chance. We are a young team, but what we might lack in experience, we make up with passion and football savviness. We know how to play the game. 

"Our journey over the last few months had been remarkable. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time because Coach Tlisane Motaung has assembled a fantastic team. There is no questioning anyone's work ethic. 

" 'Coach' has been shifting us around throughout the tournament. It meant one game, you might play centre back, the next left-back or striker. No one complains. We know that coach got a plan for each of his decisions. Our challenge as players are to give a 100% on the field," explains Mpedi, who captained the Tuks team that won the Varsity Tournament in 2017. 

AmaTuks played to an away two-all-draw against Cape Town Spurs last Sunday in Cape Town.

"We needed to win, preferably without conceding any goals. Unfortunately, the evening before the game, most of us contracted a stomach bug. It had a significant impact on our performance. I could only play one half as I had no energy left.

"Playing to a draw is not the result we wanted. There are now a lot of variables at play. We need to beat the Hungry Lions and score as many goals as we can, and then we got to hope Spurs win or draw against Richards Bay. If every card falls into place, we are in the Premiership; if not, we will have to play a promotion-relegation game. I would rather not.

Richards Bay FC from KwaZulu Natal currently tops the GladAfrica standing with 53 points while AmaTuks has got 51. If AmaTuks wins and Richards Bay loses, they will be equal on points. Then it is going to boil down to goal difference. This favours Richards Bay. 

The previous encounter between AmaTuks and the Hungry Lions ended in a draw. Mpedi is confident that this time around, they will get the result they want. 

"The Lions are a good team. I watched their game against JDR Stars. They got quick players with good ball-handling skills, so we need to be aware of the pace they play at and bring our 'A-game'. Most crucial is that we take every opportunity to score count. We have not always been able to do so. Our defence has been solid throughout the tournament. But Sunday's game is the one we can't afford to concede any goals."

The last time AmaTuks played in the South African topflight division was in 2016.

The kick-off time is 15:00 at the Tuks Stadium.

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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