birds eye cup glory

AMBITIOUS Moroka Swallows dream of joining Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the "elite league" of South African giants who have tasted continental club glory.

AMBITIOUS Moroka Swallows dream of joining Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the "elite league" of South African giants who have tasted continental club glory.

The once Beautiful Birds have qualified to represent South Africa in the 2010 African Confederation Cup, which gets under way this weekend with 52 teams taking part.

Swallows, who leave for Mauritius today, meet Pamplemousses in the first round of the competition on Sunday (1pm SA time).

"Pamplemousses are a closed book to us but I think we can beat them on their home soil," Swallows defensive midfielder Ramahlwe Mphahlele said.

"It's good we are starting away in the first-leg match, which puts us under tremendous pressure to have a goal feast in Mauritius.

"One has to play against the best teams to win a competition. Our aim is to join Pirates and Chiefs by also winning a CAF tournament," he said.

Turning to the African Champions League, SuperSport United take a short trip to Swaziland, where they have a date with Mbabane Swallows on Sunday at 3pm.

Swallows have roped in Johannesburg-based coach Walter Rautmann to assist them but the veteran mentor quit yesterday, claiming he was assaulted by one of the coaches at the club.

United assistant coach Thomas Madigage said: "We are going all-out for a win. We've achieved a lot here at home and want to spread our wings across the continent."

United and Bafana defender Morgan Gould said they will use Sunday's match to maintain their winning rhythm.

Pirates, the only Southern African team to have won the African Champions League - in 1995 - have another shot at continental glory.

Bucs take on Gaborone United at the UB Stadium in Botswana tomorrow. Pirates midfielder Andile Jali said: "United are a top side in Botswana but we can't afford to get a draw on Saturday, it has to be a convincing win."

l The Champions League winners will receive $950000 (R7,3million) and the African Confederation Cup champions $625000 (R4,8million).

Players like Isaac Chansa, who recently rejoined Pirates, are not eligible to play in this round. The teams can register five more new players in June.

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