Van Heerden banking on lucky charm
Posted: 23 June 2017 Time: 11:23
Orlando Pirates defender Marc van Heerden is hoping that playing his first ever cup final in Durban will prove the lucky charm as he seeks to finally win silverware in his career.
The season-ending Nedbank Cup final take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday in the coastal city that was home for Van Heerden while he was on the books of AmaZulu.
Durban is also the place where his only appearance in this competition has been – the semi-final win over Golden Arrows a month ago.
“Yes, of course,” he responds promptly when asked about the significance of this final being in Durban.
“This is because I played at that stadium for a long time – eight years is a long time to play at one club and I played in front of the Durban people who I consider my people. I call Durban my second home.
"I opened that stadium, and I played in the first ever professional soccer match there. I played for my country there, so it is a stadium with a lot of background, happy memories and a lot of emotional memories too.”
The stocky left-back will also be keen to end 12 years of waiting to win his first piece of silverware and knows too well about how crucial lifting this particular trophy will be for the club.
“A lot has been said about the season having not been a great one for us,” he says. “In terms of motivation, when you reach a final in any competition the motivation is already there. It is about how much you want to win it and I think for us as players, we want to bring some sort of respect out of our season and Saturday is the perfect opportunity to do that.
"Winning a final will give us a little bit of our dignity back and a little bit of pride back for us,” he says, adding on about the challenges he has faced in being part of a Pirates team that has struggled.
“When you sign for such a big club you get a lot of feelings of joy, fulfilment and all that, but when you walk on the streets and the supporters see and start saying negative things to you, it is also hard to juggle those emotions.
"But as a professional you just keep going and keep working hard and keep trying to rectify your mistakes and move on from that.”