Flames legend John Maduka says he is confident that he is building a good Bloemfontein Celtic side despite losing 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
Maduka spoke to South African media.
He was hoping to become the first Malawian to guide the club to the Nedbank Cup triumph but his dream was shattered by Uruguayan striker Gaston Sirino 80th minute well taken goal.
Despite the loss, Maduka heaped praise on his troops for reaching the final and also finishing in the top eight in the Premier Soccer League.
“It has been a good season under difficult conditions but we managed to finish in the top eight, we managed to get into the final. We have done well, the guys have done well, I am so proud of them,” Maduka was quoted as saying on www.kickoff.com.
However the former Flames captain made sensational claim that the champions featured an ineligible player.
“Another thing, I have just learnt that Mamelodi Sundowns used one of the players that was on suspension but I will leave it to the officials to deal with it,” Maduka told Super Sport.
It was Maduka’s first loss in nine games in all competitions since he took over the mantle.
Local football analyst George Kaudza Masina said Maduka deserves special praise.
“He has done good job at Celtic and experience won the game for Sundowns. I am impressed with him and hopefully he will do better next season,” he said.
As runners up, Celtic will pocket R 2.5 million (about K120 million) whereas Sundowns will receive R7 million.
Despite the loss, Celtic have qualified for Caf Confederations Cup alongside Gabadinho Mhango’s Orlando Pirates after finishing third in the PSL. Sundowns by virtue of being champions qualify for Caf Champions League alongside runners-up Kaizer Chiefs.