By Sibongiseni Zondi | 2017-11-15
SOCCER – DEFENDING champions Mbabane Swallows say they are solely focused on winning the MTN Premier League title as they continue to break records and rack in prize monies.
The ‘Birds’ will receive their E350 000 prize for being first round winners this coming Sunday after their league match against Malanti Chiefs at the Somhlolo National Stadium.
Swallows confirmed themselves as winners of the first round prize with a 2-0 victory over nemesis Royal Leopard about two weeks ago while extending their unbeaten run in the League to an incredible 34 matches.
Swallows have amassed prize money in excess of E6 million in 2017. They won the inaugural Ingwenyama Cup in February, pocketing E1.2 million, which was followed by their League title triumph in May where they received E750 000.
The ‘Birds’ also reached the group stages of the CAF confederations Cup, pocketing around E3.4 million and then won the SPTC Charity Cup in August, taking home E950 000.
Despite all these accolades, the team’s aim is still the ultimate prize, according to the club’s General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane.
“We don’t celebrate wins at Swallows. When we win, our focus swiftly moves on to the next game. The bigger prize is the league title and that is our main aim.
The first round prize is just motivation for us.
Our focus is on winning the title and going back to Africa. We will stay level-headed and focus on doing the job inside the field of play,” he said.
Zwane also confirmed that coach Thabo ‘Koki’ Vilakati was back drilling the team after a short illness that saw him hospitalised over the weekend.
“Our coach is back and is raring to go. He is well and is preparing the team for our next match against Malanti Chiefs. We thank God he is well and back with the team,” he said.
The GM could not be drawn to comment on the severity of star man Felix Badenhorst’s injury after the forward withdrew from the Sihlangu squad last week due to injury.
“We will know more about injuries later on in the week. So for now we have to wait for our medical team to assess the players and then they will give us updates,” he concluded.
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