Let’s Rally Behind Matsatsantsa a Pitori!
Bloemfontein Celtic coach, Veselin Jelusic, made history by reaching his first cup final in the PSL this past weekend, beating another history-maker in counterpart, Bernard Molekwa – who guided Polokwane City to their first-ever PSL semi-final – to book a date with Bidvest Wits for the Telkom Knockout final set for December 2 at Princess Magogo Stadium.
While other coaches are making a name for themselves in the good books of the game, Kaizer Chiefs head coach, Steve Komphela, continues to come short of securing that elusive piece of silverware since taking charge of the Naturena-based club almost two-and-a-half seasons ago. To say Jola hasn’t been trying would be too far from the truth. Granted, he’s failed to bring any trophy home, but the club’s problems go way deeper than the man occupying the hot seat.
At the rate things are going, it looks like not even some of the best coaches in the world would be able to bring trophies to Naturena. It is for this reason that one believes Stuart Baxter saw it coming and decided to make a dash for it before things could get worse. The club needs to invest in quality players instead of relying on free agents that continue to fail to re-ignite the trophy-winning culture of the club. How many of their recent signings have been able to hold a place down in the starting line-up or make an impact? Could this be the reason why Baxter decided to tender his resignation?
Speaking of Baxter, the English-born coach goes into the history books as one of the coaches to have failed to qualify Bafana Bafana for a major tournament, not once but twice, following the national team’s failure to secure a ticket to next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. Baxter only managed one win out of the five qualifiers he was in charge of, one win, just one win! That’s three out of the possible 15 points! Let that sink in. Bafana continue to be a laughing stock on the continent and rightfully so.
While Bafana failed us, it is Eric Tinkler’s SuperSport United that continue to fly the South African flag in the continent. The 47-year old coach is involved in his second CAF Confederation Cup final, after finishing as a runner-up with Orlando Pirates against Tunisian side, Etoile du Sahel, in 2015. Tinkler has always been passionate about dominating the continent and it comes as no surprise that he finds himself on the brink of making history should he manage to overturn the 2-1 loss against TP Mazembe in the first leg of the final last Sunday. Playing the second leg of the final at home, which is a first for a South African team, means Tinkler and his troops can count on Mzansi supporters filling the Lucas Moripe Stadium when they finish the job off on Saturday night.
South Africa needs to rally behind Matsatsantsa a Pitori as they look to make their own history as the first South African team to be crowned CAF Confederation Cup champions. They’ve travelled the length and breadth of the continent as they remain the only SA representative to reach the finishing line in the continental showpiece this season. The financial sacrifices SuperSport United made will really bear fruit when they lift that elusive trophy – they’ve sacrificed a lot and deserve to be crowned champions. Their players didn’t have a proper off-season because they’ve been campaigning on all fronts – domestic league and cup games – without neglecting their responsibility to represent the country with absolute pride in the continent.
The least we, as patriotic South Africans, can do, is to rally behind the team and make sure that Lucas Moripe Stadium is packed to the rafters just like TP Mazembe supporters did when they hosted our team at Stade TP Mazembe. The team has proved, time and again, that they’re capable of bouncing back and I believe they still have it in them to rewrite the scripture and make history by claiming the gold medal, following in their neighbours, Mamelodi Sundowns’ footsteps. To do that, they will need all the support they can get. South Africa, unite behind SuperSport United!