Mtawali backs Maduka to clinch cup for Celtic

Neville Khoza Journalist
MARCH 02: John Maduka of Bloemfontein Celtics during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus Versfeld on March 02, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
MARCH 02: John Maduka of Bloemfontein Celtics during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus Versfeld on March 02, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images

Ernest Mtawali has backed fellow former Malawian international John Maduka to win the Nedbank Cup title with Bloemfontein Celtic.

Celtic will lock horns with newly crowned Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday (8pm).

Maduka could also make history by becoming the first former player to win silverware for the club as a head coach.

Since taking over from Lehlohonolo Seema early last month, Maduka is yet to lose in eight matches and Mtawali, himself a former Celtic player, believes the team is good enough to beat Sundowns and lift the title.

“Up to this far, Maduka has done very well for Celtic, you can see the players are more free. They are playing good football and have not lost since he took over,” Mtawali said.

“One of his big achievements was beating Kaizer Chiefs in the league 3-1 and that day the team played well with a lot of confidence. He has given the players a lot of freedom to express themselves. With the way they are playing now, I think we are going to see a very exciting cup final against Sundowns.”

Mtawali feels the team understands Maduka's philosophy because he had led the team before as captain for several season, and that he also began his coaching career also at Celtic, as assistant to past coaches.

“It is not easy for former players to get a job in the PSL, but John has been with Celtic since he retired and he worked his way up to where he is now. We must also thank Celtic management for believing in him,” Mtawali said.

“I’m very happy to see a former player whom I played with in the national team progress so well.

“I think the advantage that John has now is that he played football at the highest level, won cups with Bush Bucks [his previous club as a player].

"Even better, Celtic has a lot of hungry youngsters who are eager to prove themselves.”

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