birds in for german fury

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

IT IS a team lIke the League of Nations that will test if Moroka Swallows can stand their ground in Europe.

Swallows host Wolfsburg FC, one of the top German teams, who are sprinkling with international talent from all over the world.

It is for this reason that Wolfsburg are the current German Bundesliga champions. And they have promised to bring a formidable squad to South Africa.

Fifteen of those international players helped their respective countries to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The players are Diego Benaglio (Switzerland), Peter Pekarik (Slovakia), Marcel Schaefer and Christian Gentner (both from Germany), Makoto Hasebe (Japan).

Others are Thomas Kahlenberg (Denmark), Jonathan Santana (Paraguay), Ricardo Costa (Portugal), Karim Ziani (Algeria) and Obafemi Martins (Nigeria).

This is the firing squad that will fight out to wrest the Volkswagen Trophy Challenge title from reigning champions Swallows at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University tonight. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Swallows general manager Sipho Xulu said: "We are playing against a fearful side that has improved tremendously since we beat them twice in the same competition in 2007 (Port Elizabeth) and 2008 (Germany).

"The German outfit boasts a majority of the international and skilful players who command good respect globally. But I am happy that this international tie will give us an opportunity to measure the strength of our team.

"It is also a life-time opportunity for our boys to test their skills against their well-experienced counterparts from Wolfsburg," Xulu said.

Swallows will miss Tsweu Mokoro, the 2008 solitary goalscorer against Wolfsburg in Germany. Mokoro has since joined AmaZulu.

But they have quality players in the influential captain Lefa Tsutsulupa, dangerous twins Collin Mbesuma and David Radebe, who can rise to the occasion.