Eric Tinkler (left) says the Soweto Derby pressure is at times uncalled for. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Eric Tinkler (left) says the Soweto Derby pressure is at times uncalled for. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Tinkler: Soweto Derby heat is 'life and death' for coaches and players

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Feb 28, 2020

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DURBAN – Former Orlando Pirates coach, Eric Tinkler, doesn’t doubt the magnitude of the Soweto Derby between the Buccaneers and Kaizer Chiefs but he believes that sometimes what happens on the field does not always match the hype during the build-up to the game.

The last six derbies have been nothing short of drama but before that the standard of this blockbuster encounter had come under criticism with some suggesting the clash has lost its spark.

Tinkler was in the derby as the head coach and an assistant coach for the Sea Robbers.

The Maritzburg United coach explained why sometimes the derby doesn’t live up to expectations.

“There’s a lot of pressure that is placed on the coach and the players. That pressure is sometimes necessary but at times it’s uncalled for. To a degree, it is a detriment to the game itself because unfortunately there needs to be a winner and a loser. It is more of a matter of life and death, which is sad because that puts a lot of pressure on the players.

“Sometimes I don’t think the derby is a great spectacle to watch purely because of that,” Tinkler stated while addressing the media on Wednesday before his team started training at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Chiefs and Pirates are chasing Absa Premiership honours. Amakhosi are on top of the log with 45 points after 20 games while the Sea Robbers are on 39 points after 21 games.

The Buccaneers are still undefeated in the league under the tutelage of Germany’s Josef Zinnbauer. They will be out to to keep that record intact.

Chiefs, on the other hand, are a little wobbly having lost back to back games against Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup and Maritzburg United in the league.

But they have already got the better of the Buccaneers twice this season - it is a dominance they will surely want to entrench.

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“I think your preparation is no different to any other game. The derby is obviously special because of the 90000 spectators at FNB Stadium. There’s a fantastic atmosphere at the game and then there’s a lot of media attention during that week. There’s also the pride factor.

“There are bragging rights of winning the derby. It is not easy, to be brutally honest,” Tinkler explained.

Zinnbauer will be making his derby debut tomorrow at FNB Stadium at 3.30pm.

The game promises to fire. It has all the ingredients for an epic game of football.

@Minenhlecr7

 

The Mercury

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