Maties make Nedbank Cup history
History has been made as SAB League side Maties qualified for the Nedbank Cup Last 32, the first time a team from the Cape Winelands region has done this.
It took two goals from ex-Ajax Cape Town striker Alcardo Van Graan to help Maties to a 2-1 win over SAFA Second Division side Zeesha in a match played at Lentelus in Stellenbosch on Sunday.
Van Graan is a local boy and after being released by Ajax Cape Town he opted to move down below the First Division and Second Division to sign for Maties (Fourth Division), but has now written a piece of history.
By this Thursday evening Maties will know who they will face in the Last 32 stage of the Nedbank Cup, and from here on the matches are live on television and all eyes are focused on the competition.
Making the win even more special is that it was done on the backdrop of a historical week for football in Stellenbosch.
Dutch top-flight club PEC Zwolle have a technical partnership with the Stellenbosch University and have been in the country on a training camp for the past week, using the world class Stellenbosch University facilities-such as the Sports Academy.
The Dutch FA (KNVB) have also been in Stellenbosch over this period and through the World coaches programme, the likes of former Holland World Cup star Aron Winter, have been imparting knowledge into the coaches at school and amateur level in the Stellenbosch region.
“I believe the players executed the game plan really well and it is a wonderful moment to have beaten a team in a higher division who also have some ex-professional players on their books,” said Maties coach Reggie Jantjies.
“Alcardo Van Graan scored both of our goals and he is really making a difference to our young team. I really don’t know how no other professional team signed him when Ajax let him go.
“Now this game is history. We are through to the Last 32, but now it starts all over again and we will start working towards our next goal.
“It has been a great week with the Dutch FA as well as PEC Zwolle in Stellenbosch and continuing to build our relationships. We could not have asked for a better of ending the week than with this victory.”
Zwolle have been working closely with Maties in terms of sharing information across the board- from coaching expertise to fitness, nutrition, administration and all the insight they have gained from playing in the Dutch top-flight.
The Nedbank Cup Last 32 draw happens this Thursday evening and Maties will be pulled out of a hat, meaning they could get a home or away match and it could be against anybody in the Absa Premiership or a team from the First or Second Division that made it this far.