Mahamutsa wants to take Stars to CAF competition

Rooi Mahamutsa.
Rooi Mahamutsa.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Rooi Mahamutsa is still feeling nostalgic about competing in CAF competitions, having been involved in both the Champions League and Confederation Cup while at Orlando Pirates.

For Mahamutsa to return to the continental adventure, he must inspire Free State Stars to Nedbank Cup glory at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (7pm).

Ea Lla Koto face unpredictable Maritzburg United in a bid to win the R7-million first prize.

The Ke Yona winners will also secure South Africa's second spot in the next edition of the Confed Cup after Kaizer Chiefs finished third on the log to also qualify for the second tier continental competition.

"Playing in the CAF tournaments is a good feeling. I have been telling my teammates about the importance of winning the Nedbank Cup final so that we make history by taking this club to compete on the continent for the first time," said Mahamutsa yesterday during Stars' build-up to the showdown.

"I have been encouraging all the players to give their all so that they'll explore how is it to play in the Confed Cup.

"Continental football is different from domestic football. On the continent it's where you test yourself as a player."

The battle-scarred centre-back has fond memories of the continental club competitions. He recalled his clinical header against Esperance that helped Orlando Pirates to a 1-1 draw in Tunis, a result that secured the Buccaneers a place in the Champions League final, which they lost to Al-Ahly in 2013.

"That game against Esperance was very special. It is games of that nature that inspire me to dream about giving my all to take Free State Stars to Africa," noted the former Bucs vice-captain.

At 36, there's no doubt that the lad from Standerton, Mpumalanga, is nearing the end of his career. However, Mahamutsa believes that only God will blow the final whistle on his career.

"I am still feeling strong. I cannot tell you when I'll retire. For me, it's only God who will decide [when] it's over."

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