Milano face baptism of fire in Bloem
Milano United will face a baptism of fire when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic in the round of the last 32 in the Nedbank Cup on Sunday afternoon.
The fixture will take place at the Free State Stadium with kick-off at 3pm.
The Grassy Park outfit booked their ticket into the knockout stages by defeating Thanda Royal Zulu 1-0 at their home base of Rooikrans.
“It is a great achievement for the club and definitely a chance for us to market the club in the Nedbank Cup. It is something we really wanted,” says Milano United’s skipper Keenin Lesch.
“We do care and we want to try go all the way and try to win it. It is a great opportunity for us. They don’t come any harder in the PSL than this club [Celtic]. If our goal is to go to the PSL, these are the places we have to go to and make it there.”
The Black and Yellows have so far endured a successful time in the NFD, seeing them sit in third place on the log, and Lesch is hoping his boys can continue on the path of seeing the ‘smaller’ teams cause an upset.
“It is going to be special as a lot of our boys haven’t played in that environment before and it is an opportunity to do it. Everyone is fired up; everyone wants to do their best,” he adds.
“If you look not only at the Nedbank Cup but even at the FA Cup and what is happening with the smaller teams, we are in for a chance. It is eleven versus eleven.
“One of their better players, Ruzaigh Gamildien, is from Milano United. Kurt Lentjies and Dominic Isaacs are Cape Town boys so they will know quite a bit about Milano; they will know what we are there for.”
“We are looking forward to the experience and we are looking forward to a fair game.”
As mentioned by the Milano United midfielder, Gamildien will be welcoming the club which launched his career.
The 23-year-old joined the Phunya Sele Sele during the off-season of 2011 and has since been a constant thorn in every opposing team’s side.
He further proved his prowess when he handed his side the lead against Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday evening, before the league match eventually ended in a 2-2 draw.
“We are positive that we can get a result at home but we know it is not going to be easy because we don’t really know what Milano can do,” he says.
“It is a derby for me. I have been looking forward to this game but on the day there are no friends, so I'll just continue to help my team get the result.
“To be honest I haven’t watched a single game they have played but by judging on the log position they are a team not to be under estimated,” continued the attacking midfielder.
“It’s going to be a tough game and I hope our supporters bring the stadium alive because most teams, when they hear the supporters it brings fear in them.”
Celtic coach Clinton Larsen stated after the Ajax Cape Town game that he will be throwing in several fresh legs onto the field in order to help give his first team players a bit of reprieve from the demanding schedule.