When the 2019 Nedbank Cup kicked off in January, few could have envisioned TS Galaxy taking to the field in the final, but a fairytale run have earned them the opportunity of a lifetime.
The minnows have a date with one of the giants of the local game in Kaizer Chiefs, as the two sides square off at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
A team of relative unknowns, coached by a familiar face in Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns legend Dan “Dance” Malesela, who last spotted at Chippa United prior to taking up a job in the first division, they are looking to make history by becoming the first lower league side to win the competition.
TS Galaxy fact file
Club owner: Tim Sukazi
Ground: Kameelrivier Stadium
League: National First Division
Key players: Zakhele Lepasa (on loan from Orlando Pirates)
Road to Nedbank Cup final
Preliminary round: TS Galaxy 5-2 Ajax Cape Town
First round: Umvoti 1-3 TS Galaxy
Second round: Jomo Cosmos 0-1 TS Galaxy
Quarterfinal: Cape Umoya United 1-2 TS Galaxy
Semifinal: Lamontville Golden Arrows 1-3 TS Galaxy
Not to be confused with TS Sporting
An easy mistake to make, given that the two first division teams bear the initials of their chairmen in their names, which are identical and are both based in Mpumalanga.
Galaxy is owned by football agent and businessman Tim Sukazi, and was founded a year before the birth of Sporting, chaired by Thobela Slungu.
They’re all about developing the game
Unlike with their more illustrious Nedbank Cup finalists, one can be forgiven for not being able to identify more than a couple players who will be lining up in the colours of TS Galaxy on Saturday.
This could be due to the club’s commitment to unearthing unknown talent, as stated in its website.
“Our aim as TS Galaxy Football Club is to promote the unknown talent for the development of South African football and we hope to do so as a football club and also through the platform of our sister company QT Sports.”
In good company
No team playing outside the top flight has gone all the way in the Nedbank Cup and all its previous incarnations, but five lower league sides have made the final hurdle.
Pretoria City (now Supersport United), Mpumalanga Black Aces, University of Pretoria and Black Leopards are the four other clubs who have made it this far, and have all gone on to earn promotion to the big time soon after – which bodes well for the ambitious TS Galaxy.
Definitely in it to win it
The minnows are looking to go where no first division outfit has gone before by upsetting the mighty Kaizer Chiefs.
This has been confirmed by coach Malesela, who fancies his side’s chances of making history.
Quizzed about his side’s chances of causing an upset earlier in the week, he responded;
“They are in the same league as Arrows, so why not? I think we can.”