Highlands can get high on big crowd, Aaron Mokoena says
Big crowds motivate underdogs, but it also depends on the character of individual players from that team that is making its first appearance on a big stage.
That is how Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena summed up what could be the case when Highlands Park face SuperSport in the MTN8 final at Orlando Stadium tomorrow.
Highlands are used to playing in front of a small crowd at the 5,000-seater Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa. If soccer fans attend the final in big numbers, the Lions of the North could find themselves appearing in front of a much bigger crowd at the 40,000-capacity stadium in Soweto.
Mokoena, who made his debut for Blackburn Rovers in an Football Association (FA) Cup match against Cardiff City in front of a big crowd in 2005, views the whole scenario differently.
"I know how it feels but that could motivate them," said Mokoena, whose biggest appearance was in the final of the FA Cup at Wembley. "That stage fright could be too much for Highlands, that's when Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tendai Ndoro's experience will come in handy."
Mokoena said he too suffered a bout of nerves when he played his first game for Bafana against Congo, but Lucas Radebe reminded him that his abilities earned him a spot in the squad.