JOHANNESBURG - Independent Media soccer writer Mazola Molefe has looked at SuperSport United and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Jeremy Brockie
He is lethal, and no wonder rival clubs, those with deep pockets at least, always seem to consider Brockie as an option when they think about beefing up their front line. Matsatsantsa have done well to hold on to the ‘sniper’, much to the delight of new coach Eric Tinkler, who is already gloating about how sharp his marksman has looked in pre-season. This could be a season in which he finally goes all out for the Golden Boot.
Coach: Eric Tinkler
With an unquestionable high work rate and what he produced at Cape Town City last season still fresh in memory, Tinkler has already made a lasting impression on his new group of players. He has a better quality squad now and is well aware of the high expectations - but he’s made for the pressure.
Tinkler has inherited a hard-working squad from Stuart Baxter, with the club being able to hold on to their core players as only defender Michael Boxall was allowed to leave. So no one really needs to adapt to new surroundings and the coach can work his magic with relative comfort.
Brockie might need a little bit of the load taken off him this season. When he wasn’t firing and Bradley Grobler was still on the mend, goals were hard to come by and that is where SuperSport probably lost the league - along with an incredible high number of draws. More match-winners need to step up.
Winning the league, it’s a simple as that. SuperSport have been coming close for several seasons now and winning the odd domestic trophy. Although some might feel Tinkler will need a bit more time, maybe one season to aim for that target, the fact they have kept the same squad as last season means they can definitely challenge for the league title.
A barren campaign could spell the end of Tinkler’s tenure. Winning domestic cups is a habit and the new coach is expected to continue the trend and ensure Matsatsantsa remain the perennial challengers they have been.
Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Reyaad Pieterse. Defenders: Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould, Tefu Mashamaite, Denwin Farmer, Thato Mokeke, Onismor Bhasera, Keegan Ritchie, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Grant Kekana. Midfielders: Aubrey Modiba, Dean Furman, Cole Alexander, Teboho Mokoena, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Sipho Mbule. Strikers: Dove Wome, Thabo Mnyamane, Thuso Phala, Jeremy Brockie, Kingston Nkhatha, Bradley Grobler, Prince Dube and Fagrie Lakay.
Best position: Champions in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Worst position: 14th in 1998