Bloemfontein Celtic skipper Ndumiso Mabena says they have to respect Mamelodi Sundowns in their Nedbank Cup final clash on Saturday night.
The Phunya Sele Sele skipper says the fact that the Brazilians have regularly featured in the Caf Champions League means they are experienced and a strong side.
On the other hand, the former Orlando Pirates striker says they must be wary of the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions who managed to grab the title under Kaizer Chiefs’ nose.
“This is a big game for us. It’s the first time we play in the final and we will give our all, do our best on the day,” Mabena told the media.
“We hope to make our fans proud. Credit should go to the boys and coach for motivating us and after a long time we have a chance to play in the final.”
Despite showing respect to Sundowns, Mabena said the final is a big occasion for his men and will look to make their fans happy.
“Sundowns are the Caf Champions , they have experience and are a good team,” he added.
“You could tell they have experience of managing games, having come from behind [13 points] to catch Kaizer Chiefs to win the title. It shows the experience gained in Africa.”
The former Buccaneers player finished the 2019/20 season with nine goals and he is fully aware of the task ahead of them when they face the Tshwane giants at Orlando Stadium.
Under coach John Maduka’s guidance, Celtic finished the season without a defeat in the Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) and the Malawian legend will be pinning his hopes on his skipper to unlock the opponent’s defence.
Mabena scored in the two previous meetings between the two sides but they lost 2-1 in the league at Loftus Versfeld back in February.
On the other hand, the Mpumalanga-born player was on target when they demolished Baroka FC 3-0 in the semi-final last month.