Daylon Claasen is now part of the plot to eject the Students from the Telkom Knockout tonight. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN - The only success Daylon Claasen has enjoyed in South African football came during his stint with Bidvest Wits.

The paradox, however, is that Claasen is now part of the plot to eject the Students from the Telkom Knockout tonight.

Claasen is now with Maritzburg United and is beginning to find the groove that saw him take South African football by storm a few years ago before moving to Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Tonight at 8pm the Team of Choice have an affair with the Clever Boys at Harry Gwala Stadium in the last 16 of the TKO.

The former Bafana midfield maestro has vowed to help the Pietermaritzburg side progress to the next phase of the competition.

“As a team we would like to go all the way and win the cup. Obviously we know it’s a big challenge, the team that will take its chances on the day often prevails and we are working hard to be that team. Personally, I would like to see us going all the way and win the Cup,” Claasen stated.

But before dreaming far, Claasen and his teammates have to show their mettle against Wits.

The Clever Boys are no pushovers. They have developed a reputation of winning trophies under the tenure of Gavin Hunt. The former SuperSport United coach has enjoyed a trophy-laden career and boasts four league triumphs plus various knockout competitions.

At Moroka Swallows in 2004, Hunt delivered the Absa Cup. His success continued at SuperSport, winning three league titles and the Nedbank Cup.

At Wits Hunt has already won three trophies since he took over the coaching reigns at the club in 2013.

“I won my first cup in South Africa when I was playing for Bidvest Wits. It was the Telkom Knockout and funny enough we are meeting them in the same competition. This time around I want to win it with Maritzburg,” Claasen reminisced.

Ironically it was also in KwaZulu-Natal where he captured his first piece of silverware. The Clever Boys got the better of Bloemfontein Celtic at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

“Wits are a very good team. They’ve got good players. They’re well organised. Coach Gavin knows what he is doing there. I don’t think there’s a team that is bad in South Africa. All the teams are good, it is just the organisation. Wits are familiar with these sort of competitions so we will need to be very competitive to overcome them,” Claasen elaborated.

The Team of Choice are still searching for their maiden silverware in top flight football and their coach Eric Tinkler will know that the further they go into the competition, the better their chances of securing some silverware.


The Mercury