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Steven set to face childhood heroes

Posted on 12 July 2011  - 12:00

Steven Pienaar will face his childhood favourites again when we travel to South Africa for the Vodacom Challenge.

Steven Pienaar will face his childhood favourites again when we travel to South Africa for the Vodacom Challenge.

The midfielder supported Orlando Pirates as a youngster growing up in the Westbury area of Johannesburg.

We face the newly-crowned Premier Soccer League champions in the second game of the Vodacom Challenge at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit on Tuesday week, July 19.

Kaizer Chiefs are first up at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane this Saturday.

Steven, capped 58 times by South Africa, explained that most football fans from his area support the Pirates.

"Orlando Pirates is one of the oldest teams in South Africa and from where I’m from, 90 per cent of the people support them," he said.

"I’m one of those fans! I supported Pirates as a kid before I moved to Ajax Cape Town, then I supported Ajax Cape Town."

Steven joined Ajax Cape Town in 1999 and eventually made the grade to move to Dutch giants Ajax in 2002.

However, he got the chance to play with some of the top names to come out of the Pirates in recent years in his early days in the national team.

"Yes, I played with Sibusiso Zuma in the national team, he played for Pirates and Mark Fish, everyone knows him, a famous player from South Africa who played in the Premier League (for Charlton and Bolton)," added Steven.

"I also played with OJ Mabizela, who joined Spurs. A lot of players have come through Pirates and made it to the national team. They are a top team in South Africa."

After kicking-off against the Chiefs on Saturday and then facing Pirates next Tuesday, we will take on the winners of the Chiefs/Pirates match on July 21 in the final at the famous Coca-Cola (Ellis) Park, Johannesburg, on Saturday, July 23.