Knives out for Nico

Kabelo Dipholo
IN THE FIRING LINE: Nico can expect a warm welcome in Dukwi

Hot peri-peri awaits Majombolo at Dukwi Grounds

It’ll be a moment of football history this Saturday when Dukwi Sporting Club lock horns with Nico United in the Orange FA Cup Preliminary Round at the dusty Dukwi Grounds.

The two northern teams will be meeting each other for the very first time.

The 2021/22 Francistown Regional Football Association (FRAFA) Champions will also be making their maiden appearance in the lucrative cup, now in its fourth edition.

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The ‘Chilli Boys’, as the Dukwi outfit are known, narrowly missed out on promotion to the First Division last year after finishing third in the northern block promotional play-offs.

Knives out for Nico

Founded in 2014, the team needed just two season to seal progress to Division One.

Speaking to Voice Sport on Wednesday afternoon, the club’s upbeat Chairman, Anthony Tlou said they were looking forward to hosting the Premier League side on Saturday.

“It’s a big match, and we are ready to give our supporters the greatest show of their life,” promised Tlou.

The Chairman said while they hold Nico in high regard, his boys will show little respect to the copper town team come the weekend.

“They’ll be served some red hot chilli. We’re not scared of Nico, and we’ll show that on Saturday. We owe our supporters a good game, and the Orange FA Cup has presented us with a golden opportunity!” he declared confidently.

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Knives out for Nico
LOOKING TO PUSH ON: Nico are confident of Orange success

While the Chilli Boys enjoyed an epic previous campaign, they are slightly off the pace this season, currently perched on fourth position, 13 points behind log leaders, Makungulupeswa FC.

The Dukwi outfit has struggled to recover from the loss of two of their key players: Kalunga Sapalo and Otsile Makaita, who joined Sua Flamingoes at the start of the season.

“We started slowly this season, but I believe after 13 rounds of matches, our technical team will soon get it right,” was the ever-optimistic Tlou’s parting shot.

Nico United Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ntibi Kedikilwe will, however, hope the technical team does not get it right this week.

“These small teams can be a serious problem, and we’re not going to underestimate them,” he admitted.

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“We’ve been very unlucky in these kind of cup games in the past, losing to the so-called small teams,” Kedikilwe said, whose Baby Jombies hammered minnows Pearsia 4-0 at this stage of the competition last year.

Majombolo would go on to put four more past then Premier League outfit, BR Highlanders, before finally succumbing to Sua Flamingos 2-1 in the last 16.

Not willing to leave anything to chance, in their efforts to avoid becoming a cup shock, Kedikilwe revealed a scouting mission was carried out at the weekend.

“Our coach went to watch the team during their 1-0 loss to Tonota FC this past Sunday. I believe the technical team has gathered enough data to come up with a winning formula,” disclosed Kedikilwe, whose team currently sit 11th in the BPL table after winning the First Division North at a canter last season.

The PRO is setting his sights high this time around, eying the last stages of the knock-out competition.

“Reaching the last eight will be an achievement, but I believe we have what it takes to at least reach the semis,” closed Kedikilwe.

The Orange FA Cup is the most lucrative football tournament in the country at the moment, with the winning team assured of a five-figure pay day.

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48 teams, including 16 First Division sides and 16 regional champions are given a shot at the top P800, 000 cash prize.

Kick-off is 1600hrs.

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