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Pretoria – Bring on the derby. Throughout the years University of Pretoria and SuperSport United have been the best of neighbours.
In the current SuperSport squad four players come from the development ranks at the University Football Club; George Maluleka, Davis Nkausu, Grant Kekana and Clifford Mulenga.
SuperSport, even makes use of the university’s training facilities in Groenkloef. And AmaTuks coach Steve Barker has gone on to say that he admires and has learned a lot from Gavin Hunt during his coaching career. Relations between the two clubs have always been courteous, however, on derby day with so much at stake in Saturday’s PSL match-up relations between the two at least for 90 minutes will be anything but friendly. And SuperSports visit at the LC de Villiers Stadium, won’t be of a congenial nature.
Hunt’s team come from three gruelling matches against PSL champions Orlando Pirates last week. And having drawn all of their matches in this league campaign so far, Hunt’s men will be looking to go for the kill against the rookies.
Although during their preparation for matches SuperSport doesn’t analyse video footage of their opponents, the players are though quite familiar with one another. Gordon Igesund included one player from SuperSport in his 25 man squad.
Defender Bevan Fransman, who yesterday had just received news of his inclusion in the Bafana squad said he is focused at the job at hand and is not distracted by the news.
“Obviously I am over the moon about being in the national team. But at the weekend we have a job to do. I have watched them play in their first match. From what I have seen they are good on the counter and have a direct way of playing. We played them in the off-season, but obviously the games were used by the coaches to try different line-ups and formations,” he said.
Fransman is unperturbed by the fact that United remain winless. “The first match we had was a tricky encounter against Ajax. You know it’s always difficult to go there and gain something, and the second match was against Pirates who we played against three times. So we aren’t worried at all and we will continue to play our game and give it our best shot,” he said.
United players have welcomed the week respite after their battle against Pirates which has seen them claim a spot in the MTN8 final.
AmaTuks midfielder Mpho Maruping will look to be the spark in attack for his team, after leading them to their first victory last week. The player is one of the surviving midfielders from last season after wholesale changes were made in midfield to the team, with Sibusiso Themba, Mmuso Setjhaba and Lucky Mzizi having been released from the club.
“It won’t be easy, that’s for sure. Over the course of the week we have been preparing for the match and we know the players there well,” said Maruping. – Pretoria News