United and Cit­i­zens to bring hard grafting pas­sion

The Star Late Edition - - SPORT - KAM­LESH GOSAI

WHAT­EVER Su­pers­port United and Cape Town City lack in glitz, glam­our and pedi­gree they will make up for it with their com­mon de­sire for suc­cess, the am­bi­tions of their coaches and mod­ern at­tack­ing foot­ball when they meet in the MTN8 fi­nal at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban to­mor­row night.

In the ab­sence of tra­di­tional crowd pullers Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates, this clash on neu­tral ter­ri­tory will ap­peal more to the young, mod­ern sup­porter who val­ues more the hard graft and at­tack­ing and de­fen­sive dis­ci­plines than the flashy stuff.

There will be fancy moves, too, with Thuso Phala of Su­pers­port and Teko Modise of City ca­pa­ble of dish­ing it out, but moreso pas­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion are the key in­gre­di­ents, as em­pha­sised by the clubs’ as­sis­tant coaches.

Su­pers­port are all about tro­phies, and this out­ing is a mere pit­stop en route to their up­com­ing Caf Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup semi-fi­nal, sec­ond leg away, to Tu­nisia’s Club Africain next week­end, as they at­tempt to trans­fer their do­mes­tic suc­cess onto the con­ti­nent.

City, on the other hand, are young and am­bi­tious and ea­ger to ride on the early suc­cess of their de­but sea­son’s Telkom Knock­out achieve­ment.

If the weather gods play ball, af­ter a day of lash­ing rains and gusty winds that wreaked havoc across KwaZulu-Natal ear­lier in the week, then there should be plenty light­ning and thun­der un­der the Moses Mab­hida arch come 7pm.

“As Cape Town City we are grate­ful and priv­i­leged to be in an­other fi­nal. We’re in the sec­ond year of ex­is­tence and in our sec­ond fi­nal in 12 months, so there’s big ex­cite­ment,” said Ian Tay­lor in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

“The TKO is still fresh in our minds and there’s his­tory here with Eric (Tin­kler) be­ing our coach last sea­son and Benni (McCarthy) be­ing the coach now ¦ it makes it mouth­wa­ter­ing.

“Eric has coached a lot of our play­ers and Benni is great, reach­ing his first fi­nal af­ter just 10 games in charge.”

In the build-up McCarthy has said it boils down to which­ever team wants it more. And more is what the Pretoria out­fit want.

In­di­vid­u­ally as a coach Tin­kler craves suc­cess, and he couldn’t have found a bet­ter match in Su­pers­port, ac­cord­ing to his deputy Kai­tano Tembo.

The Zim­bab­wean was a player for Su­pers­port when they won their only top eight tro­phy in 2004, when it was known as the SAA Supa8.

This will be a fourth fi­nals ap­pear­ance, and go­ing by their cur­rent tro­phy form – they lifted the Ned­bank Cup in June – Su­pers­port will be favourites.

“We want to play in all the com­pe­ti­tions – we’re go­ing to Tu­nisia next, which is a big stage – and we last won this cup in 2004 so we want to cor­rect that,” said Tembo.

“We have as­sem­bled a squad of good pro­fes­sion­als, with play­ers who still want to achieve, like the Yeyes and Fur­mans,” he said in ref­er­ence to veteran mid­field duo Reneilwe Let­sholonyane and cap­tain Dean Fur­man.

“Eric brings a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in terms of the vi­sion of the club. He’s very open- minded, very am­bi­tious and easy to work with.

“As head coach this is his third spell af­ter Pi­rates and Cape Town City, but he’s very ex­pe­ri­enced in Africa.”

Su­pers­port might shade City in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence, but in cap­tain Robyn Jo­hannes, fel­low de­fender Tham­sanqa Mkhize, who re­cently broke into the Bafana Bafana set-up and Modise, they have plenty wise heads to guide the ris­ing stars like Ayanda Patosi, Lyle Lakay and Thabo No­dada.

And with McCarthy’s win­ning men­tal­ity to or­ches­trate things from the touch­line, City will punch above their weight to make it an in­ter­est­ing con­test.

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