It is here! There is an electricity in the South African air as the Nedbank Cup final approaches. It is SuperSport United versus Orlando Pirates, and the implications may be bigger than some may initially think…
Victory would mean a lot for both coaches. Stuart Baxter would love to finish his first campaign with Matsatsantsa with a bang, while Eric Tinkler has flirted with the sack this season and will look to silence some critics with some silverware. The winner of this tournament gets the added privilege of competing in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.
"I am torn, I am having sleepless nights," explained Orlando Pirates fan Gio de Waal.
"I really love coach Eric Tinkler, and I want him to stay, and in order for that to happen he needs to win, but that continental competition… It curses us."
Pirates sacrificed some solid performances in the league this season in order to focus on continental glory. All in all, the CCC is a taxing tournament and does not compliment the domestic schedule well. It is difficult for teams to thrive in both the competition and the league at the same time.
"What we need more than anything is to win the league. Especially with next year being the 80th anniversary of Pirates, we need to win the league more than we need a second star," De Waal added.
"I think if I have to prioritise, I will ask for the league, so, in that respect, this is the first time I've wished for my team to lose a final.
"The consequences of winning are dire."
What is your say on this? Can Pirates have a successful league campaign next year if they win the Nedbank Cup and compete in the CCC too?