Baroka coach is optimistic for the #TKO semi-final

Wedson Nyirenda poses with the Telkom Knockout trophy for the semi-final against Wits. Photo: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix
Wedson Nyirenda was highly recommended and Baroka FC understandably had high expectations from the former Zambian international when they offered him as coach at the start of the season.

Halfway through the season, however, and there is little news that Nyirenda would do for Baroka what he did for club and country at home.

When in Zambia, the former Kaizer Chiefs striker enjoyed success with Zesco and Zanaco on the club scene and with the national under-20 and senior teams.

In Polokwane, however, Nyirenda struggles to have Bakgaga fire all cylinders especially in the competition.

"We did not start well, but slowly we start to find our feet," Nyirenda said this week when he rated the twelfth position of Baroka on the table.

They have a chance to brighten up their season through the Telkom Knockout competition in which they win the final.

However, that victory must be won against Bidvest Wits that they will receive in the Peter Mokaba stadium this afternoon.

On paper, it seems impossible for Nyirenda and his team to get the Wits family tree.

But they have taken on a number of big names on the route to this afternoon's draw with the Clever Boys.

Victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the final round was a huge confidence booster for Bakgaga, says Nyirenda, who is happy to keep Wits.

"It's nice that we play at home We did a good job at home in this competition We won against Golden Arrows and Sundowns We want to keep that record going We know it will not be easy against Wits They want to defend their trophy So we have to be at our best, "Nyirenda said.

But with Wits who is looking to become the second team after Kaizer has won Chiefs back-to-back Telkom Knockout titles, Baroka's job will be quite difficult.

"We want to enter the final, which will be a good feeling for us.

"I believe we have what it takes to be in the final, we are underdogs and Wits are the favorites, we go out and give it our best.

"We want to make our own supporters happy," he added

With the final a kind of lottery, the fact that it will be against the Soweto giants Orlando Pirates despite, Nyirenda urges his team to overcome the obstacle that Wits is.

"If we can achieve the latter, everything can happen," he explained.

"Of course, Wits are a very dangerous side, especially with set-plays, and we have to be on our guard when we move on to the final."

Beat Wits and Nyirenda will leave the management of Baroka justified because they have picked him up for the job instead of the many local coaches that were available.

And the Zambian legend would prove that his great success in his native country was no fluke.

Today's game starts at 15.00, while the final will be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on December 8th.

@ minenhlecr7

Sunday Tribune

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