Bloemfontein Celtic hope a return to their “spiritual home” of the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium will have a positive effect on the players as they look to extend their fine start to the Absa Premiership season at home to Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.
Celtic are level on points with Platinum Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces at the summit of the league, though they have played a game more, and now return to the venue they see as their real home almost four years after they vacated to allow extensive refurbishments to be carried out.
Celtic see the stadium as a “slaughterhouse” and have an enviable home record their, which they would like to extend against Sundowns.
“(There is an) Unbelievable spirit of returning ‘home’,” club COO Chabeli Motsamai said. “The time has come and from supporters, to management and the entire team we are ready to welcome Mamelodi Sundowns in this grand re-opening of the stadium.
“Watching the team train today was just sublime, goose-bumps all over my body and I must concede, I was overwhelmed by fond memories of jubilation with supporters singing vociferously and dancing to the tune with self-confidence.”
Given the occasion, Motsamai says the match is a must-win for coach Clinton Larsen’s men.
“We can’t afford to lose this particular game, our team is eagerly waiting to play gallantly and even the Free State government, who has helped us hugely in terms of the refurbishment of stadium, are fully behind the team for this one,” he said.
“We are glad that everything went well and preparations for the game have been smooth with players fighting for the starting berth, which clearly shows that we are ready as a team to perform to our best.”