'Celtic players can make history'

Bacela was part of the last group of Celtic players who won a major trophy, when they edged Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 to lift the Telkom Knockout trophy in 2012. To this day, the Telkom Knockout and the SAA Supa 8 are the only trophies Celtic have won in the PSL era.

They have another opportunity to win the Telkom Knockout, as they prepare to battle defending league champions Bidvest Wits in the final at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday (18h00).

In 2012, when a Joel Mogorosi goal was enough to win the title, Celtic had one of their best ever assembled squads.

Coach Clinton Larsen had experienced campaigners such as Bacela, Mogorosi, Hlompho Kekana, Thabo Nthethe and Tsietsi Mahoa while the likes of Mulomowandau Mathoho, Mduduzi Nyanda, Limbikani Mzava and Lerato Manzini complemented the older players well.

"Prior to that we had two games that were really good. We had a game against Pirates in the quarter-final. We were losing 3-0 at some stage and came back to win on penalties. Against Chippa we were losing 1-0 and came back to win 2-1. We had a great run to the final," Bacela recalls.

"After what we had done to get to the final, we felt there was no way we would not win. We were so relaxed going into the final. Fortunately we had a coach who knew how to motivate us. It was a historical event for Celtic, having to win a cup. We did a lot of big things for the team that season because we also finished in the top five.

"We had a very good team with guys like Thabo Nthethe, Hlompho Kekana, Mathoho, Tsietsi, Thabang Stemmer and Moses Spandeel. We had guys who had won things before. That’s the difference between our squad and the current squad."

Heading into the final, Bacela believes Wits are under more pressure, which will be an advantage for Celtic.

"The pressure will be on Wits, so that could help Celtic. Once they [Celtic] get going, then anything can happen. It’s going to be difficult for them because Wits coach Gavin Hunt is a good coach and he has the experience.

"It’s a big stage and it’s an opportunity for the younger guys to become stars. It’s an opportunity to get silverware. Bloem Celtic fans will be there supporting the team. I want [Phunya] Sele Sele to win."