In the space of six months the Team of Choice has gone from fighting for their survival in the PSL play-offs to setting up a date with Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday to fight for the Telkom Knockout title.
This was done despite losing two key men, Siphesihle Ndlovu and Fortune Makaringe, at the start of the season. The big question then is, what has changed at the club?
“You’ve got to remember that we have made a lot of changes to the team,” Tinkler said. “There are a lot of new faces that we brought in. That’s probably the most important element, we have a lot more depth in our squad. It was always going to be difficult after losing Ndlovu and Makaringe. I wouldn’t say that we have replaced them, but we have found other players who bring us something different. The players have responded very, very well.”
The Team of Choice’s dramatic turnaround has been inspirational under the leadership of the former Bafana Bafana midfielder. Tinkler has infused a strong work ethic which has seen the KZN Midlands side punch above their weight. Not only are they in a cup final, but they could also finish the year in the top eight after beating Polokwane City 1-0 on Sunday to return to KwaZulu-Natal with maximum points.