Yesterday the Telkom Knockout draw for the quarter-final fixtures were unleashed and it has seen our Buccaneers paired against Roger De Sa’s Ajax Cape Town. To state the obvious, this is one encounter I am relishing!
De Sa was introduced to the black and white side of Soweto back in 2012, where he went on to lead our boys to new heights, and, for this, I will always be a fond admirer of him.
In his two-year tenure, the Mozambican shot-stopper lead Pirates to three finals: the MTN8, the Telkom Knockout and the CAF Champions League final.
But as we all know… we failed to take home a single piece of silverware, losing to Platinum Stars in both domestic cups as well as Al Ahly in the Champions League.
The dry run of silverware, and, what I feel was, harsh criticism saw him part ways with us in January this year, before he eventually joined Ajax in March.
The thing with De Sa, is that he managed to get the very best out of our boys. We were playing a great passing game, scoring regularly and there was a visible amount of confidence when on and off the ball.
To further underline De Sa’s impact, we won 15 games, drew 10 and lost just four under his tutelage in those 29 games across all competitions last season. While after his departure, the 24 games that followed, under Vladimir Vermezovic and Erick Tinkler, saw our boys win just 12 games, lose seven and draw a mere five.
To compare, De Sa had five games more on the bench at Mayfair, but he also accumulated 55 points during his cameo last season, a staggering 14 points more than the 41 points VV and Tinkler accumulated.
There are few coaches that understand our Sea Robbers quite like De Sa, and I am pretty sure he was smiling like a Cheshire cat when he found out his Ajax would play us in the next round of the TKO.
This makes me wary. VV has to prepare thoroughly for this match and make sure he gets every tactic down to the tee. Ajax are performing brilliantly this season, and are playing the brand of European football that De Sa tried to implement into our boys.
Our boys have admitted that the confidence is not all there yet, and if we don’t tread carefully it could be our own funeral. Nonetheless, Up the Bucs!!!
What are your thoughts on the draw, fellow Bucs?