Cause for much celebration as new season kicks off
If you bumped into someone whistling or humming Gene Kelly’s ditty Singing in the Rain, chances will be that it’s a South African soccer fan.
The music will be in celebration of the good days being back as professional domestic football makes a welcome return with the MTN8 quarterfinals kicking off on Friday.
And the soccer gods couldn’t have planned it better than to have double defending champions – Bidvest Wits, who lifted this trophy and the Absa Premiership title last year – opening the account against Lamontville Golden Arrows at the Bidvest Stadium.
The fixture will allow the wily Gavin Hunt an opportunity to unleash his new weapons from his ever growing arsenal in the likes of former Bafana Bafana skipper Steven Pienaar, Thato Thlone, Kobamelo Kodisang Daylon Claasen and Slavko Damjanovic.
The quintet was recently unveiled together with a new kit.
After breaking Wits’ duck – winning the first league for the first time in the club’s 92 years of existence – Hunt will be willing to build on that success.
Known for his quest and undying desire to achieve, no one in their right mind can expect Hunt to rest on his laurels and just enjoy last season’s achievements.
Despite being at home and at a kick-off time of 8pm that usually suits them, The Students must expect some stern resistance from Arrows.
The Durban side mounted quite a decent campaign towards the end of last season and were justly rewarded by sneaking into the top eight on the last day of the season.
Clinton Larsen, who has proved not to be a slouch at all when it comes to coaching matters, will also be dying to build on his reputation.
And there would be no better way to do this than to claim the scalp of the MTN8 and league champions.
Ticket sales opened this week at TicketPro outlets, Jet Stores, Edgars, CNA and PostNet.
For Friday’s game, adults will have to fork out R40, and children younger than 12 pay R15.
On Saturday, greenhorn Benni McCarthy breaks his coaching virginity when his troops face Polokwane City at the Cape Town Stadium in a 3pm kick-off.
Later on in the day, Steve Komphela will be afforded an opportunity to salvage his tattered image when Kaizer Chiefs play SuperSport United at “home” – Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Chiefs and Orlando Pirates tend to be home wherever they lay their heads due to their huge following.
The Amakhosi coach must be aiming at rectifying the pain caused to the myriad of Khosi-4-Life supporters when he lost 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town in the final two seasons ago in his maiden season with the club.
And his journey to redemption starts on Saturday.
Tickets for these two fixtures go for R60 for adults and R15 for kids.
Pitso Mosimane’s side, Mamelodi Sundowns, brings down the quarterfinal stage curtain when they host Maritzburg United at Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
Tickets for this match go for R40 for adults and R15 for children.
CHAMPIONS Bidvest Wits celebrate their MTN8 final victory last season. They open their defence against Lamontville Golden Arrows on Friday