No bad blood this time

It’s the cup which drives coaches

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - SOC­CER By MARC STRYDOM

HIS one-time pub­lic spat with Benni McCarthy is years in the past‚ and should not be a fea­ture in any way of to­day’s MTN8 fi­nal at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium‚ Su­perS­port United coach Eric Tin­kler has said.

Then-Bid­vest Wits as­sis­tant­coach Tin­kler and his head coach Roger de Sa were in­volved in a fiery ex­change with McCarthy when the leg­endary Bafana Bafana striker was wind­ing down his ca­reer for Or­lando Pi­rates in 2011.

In De­cem­ber of that year McCarthy and his for­mer Bafana team­mate Tin­kler‚ and De Sa‚ whose time with the na­tional team had nar­rowly pre­ceded the striker’s‚ be­came em­broiled in a fiery spat with the Wits coaches dur­ing the Telkom Knock­out fi­nal.

As McCarthy played a star­ring role in­spir­ing Bucs’ 3-1 vic­tory‚ he raised the ire of Wits’ bench with some chal­lenges and a slap­ping match with Clever Boys right-back Sipho Mn­gomezulu.

“You’re talk­ing years back now. I think it’s eight years ago‚” Tin­kler said this week‚ adding years to an event that in fact took place six years ago.

“But it’s not about me or Benni. This is about Su­perS­portTown City. So‚ I’m not go­ing to an­swer ques­tions on that.”

McCarthy this week also moved to bury the hatchet with Tin­kler.

“The fo­cus is not on Eric‚” the City coach told a press con­fer­ence.

“What hap­pened‚ hap­pened‚ it’s in the past. We’ve all moved on. My fo­cus now is just on my team.”

McCarthy and De Sa had to be re­strained from each other’s throats by Pi­rates coach Julio Leal af­ter the 2011 fi­nal.

De Sa ap­par­ently told the over­weight McCarthy he was “paid by the kilo”. For­mer FC Porto‚ Blackburn and West Ham striker McCarthy told De Sa and Tin­kler that he could pay both their salaries.

Af­ter the game McCarthy went on a tirade against Tin­kler and De Sa.

“For Roger de Sa and Eric Tin­kler‚ for­mer play­ers‚ to be­have like that‚ I think that should be thrown out the game‚” he said at the time.

“That is why they are coaches at Wits and not the Gavin Hunts and Steve Kom­phe­las of this league. They know what they did – I don’t have to spell it out.

“If they want to get nasty‚ I can get very nasty. Be­cause what I have achieved in my ca­reer in foot­ball‚ and what they have achieved – if you want to com­pare medals and achieve­ments and money‚ then I would be glad to join in that con­ver­sa­tion be­cause I know I would come out right on top.

“Eric Tin­kler thought we were still team­mates in the na­tional side. I even for­got that we played to­gether in the na­tional team.

“He tried to be smart so I had to put him in his place . . . he is lucky I didn’t slap him.”

Adding spice to their ri­valry‚ in their re­cent his­tory McCarthy re­placed Tin­kler‚ who joined Su­perS­port af­ter steer­ing City to third place last sea­son‚ at the Cape club for the exstrike his first head coach­ing po­si­tion this cam­paign. — DDC

Pic­ture: GALLO IM­AGES

MOV­ING ON: Benni McCarthy says a 2011 scrap with Tin­kler and Roger de Sa is not a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor

Pic­ture: GALLO IM­AGES

OVER IT: Eric Tin­kler says he has pushed his 2011 spat with one-time Bucs striker Benni to the back of his mind for to­day’s MTN8 fi­nal

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