RDS points to Pirates exploits with Tinkler
Posted: 28 September 2017 Time: 12:59
Platinum Stars coach Roger de Sa feels PSL clubs have been taking African competition seriously since he and Eric Tinkler nearly tasted continental glory with Orlando Pirates a few years back.
De Sa guided Pirates to the CAF Champions League final in 2013 when Tinkler was serving as his assistant at Mayfair, ultimately coming unstuck against Egyptian giants Al-Ahly.
Two years later Tinkler steered Bucs to the Confederation Cup final where they lost to Etoile du Sahel.
Mamelodi Sundowns eventually emulated the Buccaneers' 1995 continental triumph when they lifted the Champions League trophy in 2016 under the tutelage of Pitso Mosimane.
Mosimane's men saw their title defence end in the quarter-finals at the hands of Wydad Casablanca last weekend, but Eric Tinkler's SuperSport United side marched on to the Confederation Cup semi-finals with a victory over Zambian outfit Zesco United.
Matsatsantsa will host the first leg of the tie against Tunisia's Club Africain at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday (15h00).
"It's great and I think Eric went there with that in mind, that he wants to do well in Africa," De Sa said of his former assistant, who traded Cape Town City for SuperSport in the off-season.
"We had many discussions in Cape Town about him getting the job offer [at SuperSport]. I was probably the first one to know even before his wife [he chuckles]. But I think this is great for him and I think for SuperSport as well, and good for South African football.
"I think, finally, clubs are taking African competition now more seriously. I think since our stints at Pirates, Eric and I, I think since then clubs are now saying 'hey, maybe Africa is the way to go' and they're starting to show up.
"It is nice to know that we set the trend and hopefully everybody carries on now."
Da Sa understands too well how competing on the continent can hurt a club's domestic campaign. He parted ways with Bucs soon after their African exploits four years ago and recently inherited a struggling team at Dikwena, who had a decent run in the Confederation Cup under his predecessor Cavin Johnson.
"It is taxing there... I must tell you it takes it out of the team," he said.
"I mean Platinum Stars are probably suffering on their trips to Africa as well and it hurts you if you don't have depth and quality.
"But I think a club like SuperSport has definitely got the finance, the depth and everything else to go all the way."