Matlaba makes big claim about Bucs


Swallows FC left-back Thabo 'Festival' Matlaba is optimistic they will hold their own against MTN8 champions Orlando Pirates in the original Soweto Derby on the weekend.

The two teams will battle for three points at Orlando Stadium on Sunday (5h30) with many people believing unbeaten Swallows could finally meet their match in the Buccaneers.

But according to Matlaba, the squad they have can easily match his former team pound for pound.

"Football doesn't care if you are fast or slow, tall or young, it's all about how serious you are on that day," Matlaba tells

"It depends on how much you want it. How serious you are about competing with the team you are playing with? How serious are you about using your scoring chances?

"We respect every match. It doesn't mean because it's Orlando Pirates now we are changing our structures. So we are sticking to our plans, we go there and fight, that's it.

"The mood is right because most of the guys here like Thabo Matlaba, Musa Nyatama, Vuyo Mere, Lebohang Mokoena, they played for those teams, so we know what to expect from those teams."

Matlaba reckons there is more experience at Swallows than at Pirates – test out his theory by counting their senior signings below

"The only thing we need to do is to encourage those who didn't play Soweto Derbies for the big teams, telling them, 'No these big teams, this is the weakness that they have, this is the strength that they have.'

"This reminds me of when I was still playing for small teams. You don't need motivation when you are playing against such teams. There's boys who want to go to Pirates, so they know that, 'If I can kill Pirates, it will give me an opportunity of playing for Pirates.' So that's what gives them motivation.

"So we have a mixed team here, we've got energy and some experienced players. It's balanced. I always tell people that put Pirates and Swallows together and compare the players, trust me, at Swallows you will find more experienced players than at Pirates.

"So football doesn't care if this is Pirates and they've got speed, football is played on the ground. It's about who wants it the most."

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