Khama Billiat earns more money in one month than The Magic FC spends on the entire team for a full season, according to owner George Dearnaley.
The ABC Motsepe League team from Cape Town travel to Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for a dream Nedbank Cup last 16 clash against Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.
The occasion, Dearnaley says, will be only the second time most of his amateur players have ever been inside a professional stadium, such is the gulf in class between the two sides.
Nevertheless, former Bafana Bafana striker Dearnaley – who is also the technical director – provides more insight into the team, which has a few surprises in store for the Glamour Boys.
Former Chiefs left-back David Kannemeyer is the coach of the side, and while the bulk of the squad are amateurs, Kannemeyer can also call on his former Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Thando Mngomeni and ex-Polokwane City midfielder Nazier Jacobs.
“You know myself and David Kannemeyer and Thando Mngomeni – he is one of our older players. We can share the experiences with the guys but at the end of the day Chiefs is a full professional team with top-of-the-range players,” Dearnaley continues.
“But they are human beings. Human beings sometimes get nervous, get scared, they are under pressure because if they lose to us they’re gonna be under big pressure. The biggest difference between professionals and amateur players is, professional players should be switched on every week, it doesn’t matter who they play against.
“Amateur players sometimes can change, the mentality can change depending on who they play. But in this case playing the biggest team in the country we don’t have to motivate them, we know they will be ready for the game.
“We’ve got Nazier Jacobs, who played for Polokwane City two seasons ago, he had a car accident but he’s recovered now. Thando I have mentioned. So we’ve got a balanced team, we’ve got some experience but we’ve also got some young players who have never been outside of the ABC Motsepe League.”
Mngomeni, meanwhile, now 36 and having also represented the senior national team, Helsingborgs IF, SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits in his younger days, told reporters his repertoire of skills have not deserted him.
“Obviously I will not be the same as I was a few years ago but the determination and skills are still there‚” smiled the younger brother of former Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabo Mngomeni.
“I have matured over the years as a human being and it is the same with my football even though I am playing in a lower division. My decision-making is much better and that rubs off on the younger players in the team who look up to me for guidance.
“Off the field‚ I am married with three kids and not everything is about me anymore. A lot of things have been said about me but I am in a happy space with my family.”
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