Vodacom and the Sea Robbers Push iPassion in Mangaung
Orlando Pirates can move another step closer to their first PSL title in eight years, when they visit the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium to take on in-form Bloemfontein Celtic in the City of Roses on Sunday afternoon.
Ruud Krol's Buccaneers maintained their position at the top of the table, courtesy of Thulasizwe Mbuyane's last gasp equaliser in last weekend's pulsating Soweto derby, a deserved result that further entrenched their belief that they can go all the way to glory this season. Despite having to cope without a number of injured and suspended players, Pirates showed the quality of the depth in their squad - with young midfielder Oupa Manyisa, in particular, staking a claim for more regular selection from the start - as well as a never-say-die attitude, to extend the club's long unbeaten run, as the pressure begins to mount towards the business end of the campaign.
The Sea Robbers will face a tough examination against Celtic, though. Phunya Sele Sele, currently lying fifth on the log, will be full of confidence after handing a football lesson to Supersport United, to the tune of 5-0. Coach Clint Larsen has moulded a well-organised unit that is dangerous going forward and difficult to break down.
However, they are coming up against a Bucs outfit that is focused on proving their title credentials and are sure to provide a far sterner test for Celtic than the ailing defending champions managed, with the likes of erstwhile Siwelele star Tlou Segolela, due to return to the line-up to wreak havoc on his former team.
"Pirates demonstrated their absolute dedication to the cause last weekend by pushing right up until the final minute before getting their just reward. That is the motivation behind Vodacom's Push iPassion campaign, where fans can match that same degree of passion in the stands, and even push it to the next level. Everybody knows how fanatical the Celtic following is in Bloemfontein, so it is up to the Buccaneers faithful in the surrounding region to turn up in large numbers, dolled up in all manner of black and white paraphernalia to outdo them in the battle of the supporters," said Vodacom's Managing Executive for Marketing, Enzo Scarcella.
Grootvlei Prison will be abuzz with excitement on Thursday 4 March from 09h00 to 12h00 as they welcome Orlando Pirates players and PRO, plus the Bucs' Bloemfontein Supporters Branch for a CSI visit that includes a penalty shootout competition, in which every successfully converted spot kick wins the scorer a Pirates hamper, a cap and a replica jersey. For the inmates, the club PRO will offer some inspiring words of motivation and optimism for the future, after which a number of their favourite players will be available for an autograph signing session.
To get the festive atmosphere under way, the Vodacom Gig Rig will be rolling into Bloem for a couple of Road Shows ahead of the big match. On Friday 5 March, the Rocklands Centre will be the venue where, between 14h30 and 17h30 members of ‘The Ghost' can congregate and be entertained by top MCs and DJs, as well as win prizes and purchase airtime vouchers and official club merchandise. Authorised agents will be on hand to assist people with information regarding M-PESA and easy registration with RICA. The following day, the Road Show moves along to the Sanlam Plaza and fans are encouraged to gather between 10h00 and 13h00 to continue to build up a festive vibe in anticipation of filling the stadium with passion and spirit on Sunday.
The match kicks off at 15h30, and supporters are urged to make their way there early in order to create a special atmosphere by the time the players take to the field.
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