JOHANNESBURG - SuperSport United bosses have huge expectations of coach Eric Tinkler but you can’t fault them because of the standard that the former Bafana Bafana hard-tackling midfielder has set for himself in a short space of time calling shots from the sidelines.
Tinkler began his coaching career at Bidvest Wits as an assistant to Roger de Sa.
Together they reached two cup finals and one of those they won by thumping AmaZulu 3-0 in the 2010 Nedbank Cup final that marked the opening of the new FNB Stadium .
The other final, the 2011 Telkom KO, they were crushed 3-1 by Orlando Pirates.
The duo moved together to Pirates and they continued their good cup run as they reached three cup finals, although they lost all of them.
They were beaten by Al Ahly of Egypt in the final of the Caf Champions League in 2013 and also suffered defeat twice to Platinum Stars in the final of the MTN 8 and the Telkom Knockout.
In 2014, Tinkler was assisting the outspoken Serbian tactician Vladimir Vermezovic when Pirates captured the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium, defeating Wits 3-1.
'VV' resigned and Pirates chairman gave Tinkler reigns until the end of 2014/15 season and then the job permanently on a one year contract the following season.
This was his first job as the head coach and Tinkler reached two major cup finals. He succumbed to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in the final of Caf Confederation Cup and was also lost out to the Nedbank Cup to SuperSport United.
Unfortunately for The Ghost, his contract was not renewed at the end of the season and he then joined Cape Town City last season. On his debut season with with the Citizens, he delivered the Telkom KO and secured qualification to the Confederation Cup after securing the third spot in the league.
On Sunday, he captured the MTN8 title with new club SuperSport.
This has excited SuperSport chairman Khulu Sibiya, who is eager for the club's maiden continental success. SuperSport face Club Africain of Tunisia in the second leg of the Confederation Cup semifinal this Sunday after a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
“The continental title is coming in the next few weeks. Don’t worry it is coming. This year, I said I’m going to close the club cupboard. I said I will put all the trophies and close the cupboard. I’m only waiting for that one. The club cupboard is open now for the continental crown,” a confident Sibiya stated.
No pressure then.
Luckily, Tinkler has already showed that he has the temperament to withstand pressure and that’s why COO Stan Matthews foresees the bright future ahead of him.
“Eric has a tremendous potential to be the great coach. He sees the game very cleanly. He has good manner with the players. He is very consistent. He has been there and has done it in top leagues across the world. I think he is going to become great asset for South African football.
"What I see now with the coaches like Eric, Pitso Mosimane, Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy is that the future is bright for competitive football in the PSL because these are good coaches. Benni is fresh in it now but you can see already that he is building something. I think the better quality coaches we have in the league, the more it is going to benefit Bafana Bafana and also young players coming through.
You see what Stuart Baxter managed to do with young Tebogo Mokoena and what Tinkler is trying to do with Sipho Mbule,” Matthews concluded.