Well, they all play for SuperSport United – that’s the first thing that comes to mind, right? However, that’s not the reason I mentioned their names, so let me explain why I’m writing about Matsatsantsa today.
All these players joined SuperSport as free agents, meaning the club didn’t pay a transfer fee, and most of them helped the club win the Telkom Knockout over the weekend when they beat Platinum Stars 3-2. They’ve brought success to the club and they didn’t cost a cent.
Now it is one thing to sign a player for free and another when the player in question is of real quality. I firmly believe that the aforementioned players are not just adding to the numbers at the club, but making a big contribution.
With that in mind, there is no doubt that the people running the club behind the scenes have their eyes on the ball. It goes without saying that they monitor the market and make their move at the right time, hence they got such quality players without parting with cash.
Did you know that since the 2001/02 season this club has never finished outside the top eight? Yeah, that’s right. They have won three League titles and also lay claim to five major trophies since the PSL inception in 1996/97; they won the 1999 Bob Save Super Bowl, 2004 SAA Supa 8, 2005 Absa Cup, 2012 Nedbank Cup and this year’s Telkom Knockout.
Since 2000, they’ve had only five coaches, including four locals – Bruce Grobbelaar, Pitso Mosimane, Gavin Hunt, Cavin Johnson and Gordon Igesund, who is currently in charge.
That, in my view, means that they do their homework when looking for a coach and that’s probably the reason the coaches stay on for long. Consider the fact that Pitso Mosimane was there from 2001 to 2007 as head coach, and Gavin Hunt stayed on from 2007 to 2013.
They have also established one of the best development structures in the country, having produced the likes of Kamohelo Mokotjo, Kermit Erasmus and Thato Mokeke. And, more recently, Ronwen Williams, Thabo Moloi and Morne Nel are some of the players to have come up to the first team. That’s commendable.
Did you know that SuperSport United chairman Khulu Sibiya had his sights on buying Moroka Swallows before settling for SuperSport? Sibiya was part of the M-Net group that bought Pretoria City in 1994 and renamed it SuperSport United.
Initially, the group was negotiating with the late Swallows boss Pine Chabeli to buy the Dube Birds, but the latter wanted to remain chairman and the deal fell through. Perhaps Swallows could have become the SuperSport that you see today.
Twenty years on and SuperSport are, without a doubt, one of the best-run clubs in the country and so, in my mind, it is high time we give credit where it is due and that is to the club’s management.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa
Follow me on Twitter @TTM16