The National First Division basement dwellers host Rise and Shine at Athlone Stadium tonight, in what will be a massive test for the newly-formed club against their Absa Premeirship rivals.
In their young squad, however, they have been able to call upon the experience of Cale this season, with the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town winger showing true signs of maturity and professionalism in the NFD as his career winds down.
“I didn’t know him personally until he came into the club, and he’s a fantastic character,” Faruggia said. “He always seems, on the outside, this hardy guy coming out from Ocean View. But he’s fantastic, with a great energy about him, even at his age. He works very hard at training, and has a very positive influence on the young guys – even a simple thing like recognising that someone’s boots are broken, and he will go and buy them a pair of boots.”
Faruggia feels Cale’s leadership qualities will come to the fore against City, especially with Ubuntu confirming they will be giving a lot of their young talent a run in this cup encounter.
“That’s a big thing for us, we need those kind of leaders in the club, and I think he will be very important against Polokwane City – he was suspended in the previous game because of yellow cards, and I’m hoping he will be important for us in this game, just with his general composure and experience at that level, and hopefully settling the guys down and pushing forward,” he said.
Ubuntu will for the first time be playing at night under the lights at Athlone, something Faruggia says the side is looking forward to.
“I think it’ll be a nice positive for us, even though we haven’t experienced playing in the evening in recent times,” he said. “But just from the heat factor perspective, and being at Athlone, I hope it will be a benefit for us. When we’ve played away at teams like Royal Eagles in Maritzburg in 35C heat, we’ve really had a tough time of things.
“If we had to play against Polokwane City, who we know have a good counter-attacking game and run a lot in the middle of the day in a 3.30 kick-off, it would have been even more challenging for us. So I hope we have a small advantage tonight.”
Kick-off is set for 19h30.