fast little loans
Last season was an excellent one in the land of the evergreen striker.
Siyabonga Nomvethe topped the Premier Soccer League goalscoring charts, showing a sharp middle finger to the idea that the mid-30s might slow him down.
Even Benni McCarthy, for all the jokes about his girth, proved that his predatory instincts inside and outside the penalty area remain firmly in tact.
Sibusiso Zuma, meanwhile, had to wait a while for his own glory.
In a campaign hampered by injury, Zuma only found a late route into the SuperSport United side.
But when he did, it was to good effect, Zuma playing a key role, for one, in Matsatsantsa’s stunning 3-0 Nedbank Cup final hammering of rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.
Just turned 37, Zuma is even older than both McCarthy and Nomvethe.
But as SuperSport prepare for their opening match of the new season, and MTN8 quarter-final against Free State Stars (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 3pm today), the man once dubbed “Zuma the Puma” is raring to go again.
“I got a chance towards the end of last season and I did well,” said Zuma this week.
“I am just happy at the moment that I have had a good six weeks of training. We have worked very hard and are hoping to start the season on a high note.”
SuperSport, after battling in the 2010/11 campaign, were right back in the thick of the action last season, pushing Orlando Pirates all the way for the league title.
Gavin Hunt has strengthened his squad in the off-season, bringing back midfielder George Maluleke while also taking a punt on former Young African Footballer of the Year Clifford Mulenga.
Mulenga has wandered around plenty of South African clubs, his talent undoubted but his off-the-field antics tarnishing his record.
He was even sent home this year from Zambia’s African Cup of Nations-winning squad.
Mulenga has, however, had a pro-missing pre-season with SuperSport, netting a hat trick in the Mopani Cup final against Moroka Swallows last weekend.
“I think he needs a team like us to fulfil his potential,” said Hunt.
“Before he has been a bit of a free-mason; he has played where he wants to play.
“With us in pre-season he has knuckled down and played in one area.
“He showed what he can do on Sunday when he scored three, and could have had six.
“If we can get that out of him this season, he has huge potential.
“I think he understands that the jury is out on him but I like him, and I think he is a match winner.”
Zuma, meanwhile, is looking forward to playing with the likes of Mulenga and Maluleka.
“They are looking super in training so I am hoping they are going to help me try to catch Nomvethe,” he said, full of praise for the way his former Bafana team-mates performed last season.
“I think they (Nomvethe and McCarthy) have to get a chance with the national team because they had a super season last season,” he said.
SuperSport go up today against a much-changed Free State Stars who have signed an unbelievable 17 new players, having also seen big names like Edward Manqele and Manti Moholo take their leave.
Hunt, however, does not expect much of a change to the way Steve Komphela’s Stars go about their business.
“I think you only expect to see things differently when coaches change,” he said.
“It’s strange that they have lost a lot of players, but they have sold a lot too, and that happens in this market.
“I don’t think they will do anything different to what they normally do,” added the SuperSport coach.