THE rituals of the rhetoric are over!
The psychological juggling acts and motivational talks are past.
Baroka FC find themselves on tenterhooks as they fight for their survival in the cutthroat business that is the Absa Premiership.
Ahead of their crucial league fixture against another relegation-threatened side, Highlands Park at Old Peter Mokaba stadium on Wednesday, motivation was all they needed.
Premier Stanley Mathabatha and the entire provincial cabinet gathered for a motivational lunch at Miami Lodge, who sponsor the Ga-Mphahlele based-outfit, to offer morale support, though it seemed too little too late.
However, club boss Khurishi Mphahlele was still adamant that Bakgaga will survive the dreaded relegation axe.
“At Baroka we believe in miracles. I went to the Zion Christian Church to seek divine intervention. I’m positive that, as miracles do happen in the church, it could happen on the field of play” said a buoyant Mphahlele.
With the entire cabinet rallying behind the team, Mphahlele went on to say, “I know the people of Limpopo love this team. Their support from the grandstand will be motivational enough for the players to perform well.”
Mathabatha was also brimming with confidence that Baroka will give a good account of themselves against Highlands Park who were promoted to the elite league alongside Bakgaga.
Mathabatha noted that: “I have no doubt that you will win this game tonight. I have been watching Baroka’s games since the beginning of the season and I have noticed that there is abundance in terms of quality and depth. However, that quality is not utilised to the fullest.”
Mathabatha’ sentiments we echoed by former Ria Stars owner Ria Ledwaba, who said Baroka are a good team under Mphahlele who took the club from grassroots and put it where it is today.
She said: “Baroka play good football, but a lapse of concentration at critical moments is their major setback. You have to play your heart out until the final whistle is blown.”
Baroka went into this game mindful of the fact that a loss would diminish their morale ahead of Ajax Cape Town who they lock horns with May 27 at the Cape Town stadium.