We’re ready, says Diadora FC talisman

Coke Cup champions Diadora FC talisman, Siyambonga “Siya” Madikane, 34, knows all too well what’s at stake when it comes to winning major cup finals. A key player in last year’s winning campaign, Madikane was on fire in this year’s edition, scoring a hat-trick in his side’s 3-1 win in their quarter-final against at Dunoon.

Cool calm and collected… Diadora striker Siyambonga “Siya” Madikane about to take a penalty during his side’s 3-1 win in a Coke Cup quarter-final against Lavender Hill. Picture: Fuad Esack

On their way to the finals, they also beat Table View FC 3-1 in the last round of 16 at Rooikrans sports complex, and Hazendal 4-1 in the semi-finals, at Westridge, to set up a cup final date with Goulburn Athletic AFC. While much of the squad from last year’s cup winning side remains intact, some new blood has been added.

Diadora’s Siya Madikane, centre, dominant in the air during his side’s 4-1 win against Hazendal in their Coke Cup semi-final fixture, at Westridge, in Mitchell’s Plain a fortnigt ago. Picture: Fuad Esack

Madikane has been with Diadora for the past two years and has worn the captain’s armband on a few occasions, along with other senior players. Prior to joining the Hanover Park outfit, he also spent time with Zizwe United, Young Bafana, FC Cape Town, Mbombela United, Ubuntu Cape FC and Cape Town Spurs.

Hazendal’s Justin Jacobus and Diadora’s Sifiso Ntjolo challenges for the ball in the air during their sides’ Coke Cup semi-final match a fortnight ago. Picture: Fuad Esack

“I must say it was a good feeling to see the community of Hanover Park gather at Athlone Stadium to celebrate our victory,” he said, recalling last year’s Coke Cup win. “The thing that keeps us going is the togetherness within the squad and how we fight for one another. We are like family here at Diadora. Everything has been going according to plan,” he said.

Diadora striker Siyambonga “Siya” Madikane maintains possession during his side’s 3-1 win in against Lavender Hill in a Coke Cup quarter-final fixture earlier this season. Picture: Fuad Esack
Diadora’s Emeraan Rayners slips through teh gap during his side’s Coke Cup semi-final against Hazendal, in Mitchell’s Plain, a fortnight ago. Picture: Fuad Esack

Regarding Saturday’s showdown, Madikane is cautiously optimistic.

“We expect a side that is full of running and a fighting spirit,” he said. “They are a young side with a high level of energy, but we are ready for them,” he said.

• In other action, Matroosfontein will face Cape Town Spurs in the under-18 final and Dangerous Heroes will face Magic Ladies in the women’s section.