SIWELELE are taking things for granted this year when it comes to Telkom Charity Cup votes, or is it Bloemfontein Celtic?
Celtic's die-hard supporters have been disappointing when it comes to voting and this has put Celtic in a difficult position to qualify for the tournament billed for Ellis Park on August 1.
The Bloemfontein club trailed leaders AmaZulu by more than 43000 votes last night, but this did not worry Siwelele, who are banking on a last-minute rally to ensure the side's qualification for this spectacular.
But this could be a recipe for disaster and they should have learnt a lesson from last year's experience where Orlando Pirates beat them in the last minute to a late qualification in this four-team event.
"We still have enough time to vote and are taking things easy," Thabo Hlabahlaba, the vice-chairperson of Celtics' national supporters' club, said yesterday.
"What happened to us last year is water under the bridge and we do not want it to happen again.
"We have thousands of loyalists for Celtic who will go out there to vote for our team. We want to see Bloemfontein Celtic playing in this tournament. It will be worth nothing in terms of support if Celtic fail to qualify."
Hlabahlaba remained unperturbed when told that Usuthu were leading the Absa Premiership relegation survivors by more than 43000 votes.
"It is their turn to lead and ours will come soon," he said. The voting lines close at midnight on July 26.
Celtic spokesperson Sello Nduna is equally positive about their chances of being part of the showpiece.
"The schools reopen on Monday and we will visit the pupils and teachers to urge them to vote for us. We will also intensify our campaign at the taxi ranks and mall around Bloemfontein.
"We might be trailing AmaZulu and other clubs by thousands of votes, but one thing we are sure of is that we will play in this tournament. We missed out last year after having won it in 2007 and we want to win the trophy again."
Both Nduna and Hlabahlaba rejected suggestions that Siwelele was shunning Celtic after the side's poor showing last season and that they also let crowd favourite Gert Schalkwyk go to Orlando Pirates. The Free Staters also have a horde of players who are admired by the fans, including Patrick Malokase and Mark Mayambela.