It’s been very good at the top since 1994 for Mat­sat­santsa

Top 8’s only ever-present club have had amaz­ing jour­ney, with 13 fi­nals

Sowetan - - Sport - By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

For a club who were play­ing in the sec­ond di­vi­sion in 1994, Su­perS­port United have en­joyed great suc­cess since their pro­mo­tion to the top flight the fol­low­ing year.

Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori have been to 13 cup fi­nals in as many years and won nine.

They have also an­nexed three league ti­tles and are the only side to have fin­ished in the top eight every sea­son in the PSL era.

Su­perS­port will now look to win the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup af­ter be­ing knocked out in the first round of the Telkom Knock­out by Bloem­fontein Celtic at the week­end.

They face DR Congo side TP Mazembe in the fi­nal in a fort­night. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Stan Matthews has been with the club all th­ese years bar his short stint as PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive, a po­si­tion he held for five months in 2012.

“We have won tro­phies with five out of our last six coaches – Pitso [Mosi­mane], Gavin [Hunt], Gor­don [Ige­sund], Stu­art [Bax­ter] and Eric [Tin­kler]. We didn’t win any­thing with Cavin [John­son], but we still fin­ished fifth in the league that year,” Matthews said.

“It shows you that the un­der­belly of our club – the back­room staff and foun­da­tion – is very strong, be­cause it can ac­com­mo­date five dif­fer­ent types of coaches in five years and still win tro­phies. From that point of view, we run a well-oiled ma­chine.”

He at­tributes their suc­cess to en­sur­ing that ev­ery­one work­ing for the club ben­e­fits from suc­cess rather than only those in the lime­light.

“When we win some­thing, ev­ery­one in the club gets some­thing – from the academy cleaner to the kit man­ager. We re­ally are united.”

It’s not just the Su­perS­port United se­nior team that has done won­ders. Mat­sat­santsa also have a youth academy that has pro­duced the likes of Bafana Bafana mid­fielder Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo and goal­keeper Ron­wen Williams, to name two.

“We have a thriv­ing youth academy that pro­duces young play­ers for the coun­try.

“I have over 60 play­ers from our academy who are play­ing at other PSL clubs and the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion.

“We are very proud of this legacy,” he added.

Matthews said they are re­al­is­tic in their ap­proach in the trans­fer mar­ket and yet have man­aged to sign some qual­ity play­ers.

“We are not a club that’s ever go­ing to pay R8-mil­lion for a player. You can’t pay R8-mil­lion for a player when you get R10-mil­lion for win­ning the league. It is not a fi­nan­cial model that makes sense what­so­ever.”

De­fender Mor­gan Gould con­curred with Matthews.

Gould also ad­mit­ted that there is room for im­prove­ment in terms of grow­ing the club’s fan base.

“It’s eas­ier said than done, but I think our mar­ket­ing man­ager [Coltrane Mun­yai] is do­ing his best. If you want to get some­one to sup­port you, you need to catch them when they are still young.

“If you tar­get some­one who’s grown up, you’ll find that they al­ways sup­port Chiefs, Pi­rates and Sun­downs,” Gould said.

/ AUBREY KGAKATSI / BACKPAGEPIX

Su­perS­port United boss Stan Matthews, fourth from left, has at­trib­uted the club’s suc­cess to be­ing united at all fronts .

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