Dean Furman is motivated by the stories he has heard from the Africa Cup of Nations-winning 1996 generation as he stands on the brink of leading SuperSport United to their first continental title.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori square off against TP Mazembe on Saturday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium in the second leg of the Caf Confederation Cup final trailing 2-1 from the first leg. Matsatsantsa need to reverse that scoreline to be crowned African champions.
They’ll do so in front of a packed stadium as fans wearing any blue t-shirt will enter for free. But it won’t be that easy as the Ravens have more pedigree than SuperSport at this stage with 10 continental titles. What SuperSport have over Mazembe is the desire to make history and leave a lasting legacy.
“It’s one of those things that we might be talking about 20 years from now if we win this trophy,” Matsatsantsa captain Furman said. “We have heard a lot of stories about the Bafana Bafana team of ’96. Coach Andre Arendse and Eric Tinkler have told us a lot of stories about that team. We are still talking about that even now. If we can win this trophy, people will be talking about this achievement for the next 20 years. It’s about leaving a legacy. We have put in a lot of effort and time to reach this stage. This isn’t a tournament that you play for a couple of months. We are on the 11th month of what has been a gruelling process. This will be our 18th game and we have out in unbelievable shifts to get here. To come this far and not get over the line would be crushing for us. There’s a lot to play for, for now and the future.”
SuperSport welcome back the suspended Reneilwe Letsholonyane while Morgan Gould will continue to serve his two-match suspension. Tefu Mashamaite will retain his place in central defence along with Clayton Daniels. The pair will be tasked with stopping the Mazembe attack that’s looking to help the Ravens retain their title.
“We know that we need to score,” SuperSport’s coach Tinkler said. “We need the one goal but also what I have realised from our past experience is that we aren’t a very good team defending a 1-0 lead. That's why we will go out there and be offensive from the onset like we did there, show no fear. We need to take risks in order to get ourselves back into the tie. We know that they are a good team going forward. But having watched them against FUS Rabat, away from home, they were primarily looking to play on the counter attack using (Ben Malango) Ngita. That’s something we need to be weary of. They have a lot of pace. Both the wingers are fast with (Rainford) Kalaba supporting them. We need to be well-organised and well-structured.”