Maela puts rivalry ahead of Masilela
Posted: 28 February 2018 Time: 13:00
Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela is relishing this weekend's Soweto Derby, but says he will be cutting contact with his brother at Kaizer Chiefs.
Adding to the suspension of ties between Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena and Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela, Maela has refused to contact elder brother Tsepo Masilela this week.
The upcoming Absa Premiership encounter between the Soweto rivals is evidently transcending beyond the FNB Stadium pitch, with much more than just pride at stake.
"I don't think I'll talk to Tsepo this week, maybe he'll call me before the match and wish me good luck, I don't know," said Maela.
"But I won't be calling him because I don't know what they're discussing in their camp. I'll talk to him after the match.
"I'm not sure if he'll play or if he'll be in the team but it's a good feeling that I'll be playing in the Soweto Derby, because there was a stage while growing up when I used to look up to him and he was participating in such matches.
"For our family there's a lot of pride, yes, but I don't think I'll be talking to Tsepo this week. We'll talk after the match."
Preparing to feature in his second Derby since arriving at Bucs at the start of the season, the 25-year-old left-back expects a studious approach from both sides.
"When you grow up as a kid you want to play big matches, and the Soweto Derby is one of the biggest matches on the continent," he said.
"It's a good game with a brilliant atmosphere; the tension is okay; the pressure is very high; but, as a player, those are the kinds of games in which you want to test yourself.
"So personally I'll be playing in my second Derby and I know that it's going to be a good game with a lot of detail – we know how they play and they know how we play, so it should be an interesting game."