IT WAS the thought of missing out on the Telkom Charity Cup in their backyard that spurred Platinum Stars into action, and saw them leapfrog Mpumalanga Black Aces and Kaizer Chiefs on the voting charts to sit in third place.
Stars chairperson George Khunou said his team's determination to avoid being left out in the cold led to them pooling all the resources available, and staging the remarkable comeback in the race for the four qualifying places.
The tournament takes place on August 1 at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, which is one of the venues the North West-based side uses as a home base.
Stars unseated their two rivals overnight, in what Khunou called a "collective effort that included all the sectors that make up the Bafokeng nation".
With the 52188 votes they amassed by late last night, Stars were trailing only pacesetters AmaZulu, who stood on 83887, and Mamelodi Sundowns who had 57416 votes.
Kaizer Chiefs had 45119 votes, followed by Orlando Pirates with 44660 and Aces who completed the top six with 7923.
"People must understand that we are a community club," Khunou said. "This means that we had to rope in the Royal Bafokeng Holdings, Royal Bafokeng Administration and Royal Bafokeng Institute as well as all the municipalities that make up the nation. Those in charge took the initiative and mobilised their people so they could give the team support.
"Giving support to Platinum Stars as a team is one thing, but here we are talking about supporting charity and the only meaningful way we could contribute as hosts was to play."