Maduka Set To Call Upon Andile Mpisane and Jele Against Arrows

Royal AM coach John Maduka is set to be without a host of players when his side face Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup last 16 at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday (15:00).

Goalkeeper Patrick Nyame is set to be out for some time after he was left injured in the knee in the win over Sekhukhune United in the DStv Premiership last weekend.

Others who are set to be out for this clash are Thato Lingwati, Motebang Sera, Mxolisi Macuphu, and Lesvin Stoffels.

Zukile Mkhize, who has missed the entire season due to a long-term knee, is making progress but he’s not forming part of the team training.

However, chairman Andile Mpisane was in training with the rest of the team, and was engaged in all facets of training, having played in the DStv Diski Challenge.

He even scored his two penalties when the club was doing final penalty drills. Happy Jele, who recently joined the club, was training fully with the team and there is a huge possibility that he may start against Arrows – in the competition he has won twice in his career with Orlando Pirates.

“Apart from those, everyone that you saw training here, [they] are fit and available for Saturday’s game,” said Maduka, who reached the final of this competition with Bloemfontein Celtic in the 2019/20 season.

“With Happy Jele, he’s available for selection and we can’t go further than that. He trained fully today [Thursday], he will train on Friday and the game is on Saturday and we still have three days.”

Andile Mpisane of Royal AM during 2023 Nedbank Cup Royal AM Media Day held at Royal AM Ranch in Pietermaritzburg on 09 March 2023 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Maduka will be facing the club Royal AM have defeated twice this season – in Arrows, in both league matches.

In both games Maduka wasn’t there, with Royal AM winning 3-1 in the first match at home in October and 2-1 away last month.

The latter fixture Maduka was appointed a few days ago before that clash early last month, but did not sit on the bench even though he doesn’t require a work permit as he has SA ID having been in this country for over 20 years.

In fact, Arrows has never defeated Royal AM in the top flight in four matches now, with two draws and two wins which came this season.

But Maduka says his side, who reached the semi final of this cup last season, still needs to work hard to beat an Arrows side that recently defeated Kaizer Chiefs with a swashbuckling performance.

“It becomes more difficult when you have defeated them twice,” said Maduka.

“Remember this is a cup game, where one team has to become victorious, so it’s a totally different ball game. This one, one has to win. They will try not to lose for the third time.”  

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