Amakhosi will go in search of their 14th Nedbank Cup crown with a home tie in the round of 32 against GladAfrica Championship outfit Richards Bay in the first week of February.
For the fifth season in a row, Chiefs will begin their Nedbank Cup campaign against a team from outside of the DStv Premiership, as they look to win the trophy for the first time since 2013. Amakhosi first won the tournament in 1971.
For Chiefs’ Darrel Matsheke, recently promoted to the Chiefs first team, it will be vital for Amakhosi to not underestimate their round of 32 opponents. “It’s going to be a tough game since we are not exactly sure how they will set up,” he says. “I am positive that the work we are doing on the training ground will help us go through to the next round.”
He is hopeful that Chiefs will manage the desire of the fans to end the club’s wait to lift silverware, “There’s a bit of pressure and a lot of expectations from the fans and everyone in the team. It is time we turn things around and do well,” he vows.
Matsheke started Chiefs last three games in all competitions after making his debut for Amakhosi as a substitute in a league game on 21 November, which was a 2-2 away draw against Golden Arrows.
The young midfielder is pleased to have been getting regular time and is enjoying being out on the field of play. A beaming Matsheke says of his season so far with the Chiefs first team: “It has been a privilege and I have enjoyed the experience. The senior players have helped me out and I am happy with everything so far.”
The game against Richards Bay will be the 27th time since 1996-97 that Chiefs will be facing a team from outside of the DStv Premiership in the Nedbank Cup. The Glamour Boys have won 21 of their previous 26 meetings against teams in the lower divisions.