The ar­rival of Fur­man and Khu­malo has raised the stakes dan­ger­ously for coach Ige­sund, writes

Ti­mothy Molobi

CityPress - - Sport -

Su­perS­port United have planted the seeds for coach Gor­don Ige­sund to suc­ceed this sea­son. But fail­ure to win the league would be seen as un­der­achiev­ing, and could mean the exit door.

Pres­sure is on the mul­ti­ple league-win­ning men­tor to repli­cate what he has done be­fore, win­ning the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle with Man­ning Rangers, Or­lando Pi­rates, San­tos and Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori have gone five sea­sons with­out the ti­tle af­ter clinch­ing it in three suc­ces­sive sea­sons.

Club chair­per­son Khulu Sibiya last week did not mince his words, pro­claim­ing that Ige­sund would have no ex­cuses if he failed to take them to the promised land.

He won the Telkom Knock­out last sea­son, but that will count for noth­ing if he fails in the cham­pi­onship. Sibiya made it clear it was the league ti­tle they were af­ter.

United have made their in­ten­tions clear by bring­ing in for­mer Bafana cap­tain Bongani Khu­malo to bol­ster their de­fence along with the cur­rent skip­per, Dean Fur­man. They have also ac­quired the ser­vices of Grant Kekana, Michael Box­all, Isaka Cer­nak and Phumelele Bhengu, who fin­ished as last sea­son’s top scorer in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion, with 22 goals.

Ear­lier in the year, United signed Kingston Nkhatha from Kaizer Chiefs and New Zealan­der Jeremy Brockie – who be­came an in­stant hit, fin­ish­ing as the club’s joint top scorer with 10 goals.

With all these play­ers at his dis­posal, United have thrown down the gaunt­let to Ige­sund to achieve what they want, or face the con­se­quences.

Fur­man’s ar­rival also spells trou­ble for the hard­tack­ling Michael Mor­ton and Eno­cent Mkha­bela in the mid­dle of the park. The Bafana cap­tain is ex­pected to lead the pack in the mid­field as Ige­sund tries to get one hand on the league tro­phy, even at this early stage.

Another player who faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture is last sea­son’s cap­tain, Clay­ton Daniels, who has lost the skip­per’s arm­band to Thuso Phala.

He is likely to fall down the peck­ing or­der in cen­tral de­fence, as Khu­malo and Box­all look set to com­mand those po­si­tions.

The for­mer Bafana men­tor’s path to re­claim­ing his for­mer glo­ries has been laid out for him.

Now be­gins the ar­du­ous and tricky task of walk­ing it.

PHOTO: TREVOR KUNENE PHOTO: DUIF DU TOIT / GALLO IM­AGES

TOUGH TASK Gor­don Ige­sund has to win the league ti­tle or he will prob­a­bly face the chop

NEW KID Dean Fur­man has joined Su­pers­port United on a two-year con­tract

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