Friday, 2 August 2013

The big-kick off tonight: Stuart Baxter's AmaKhosi go from the hunters to the hunted in Mpumalanga

THE big PSL kick-off tonight sees double-winning Kaizer Chiefs take on promoted Mpumalanga Blacks Aces at Mbombela – and AmaKhosi boss Stuart Baxter admits: “We are no longer the hunter, we are the hunted.”

Facing a side bolstered by 68-year-old AFCON-winning coach Clive Barker and an estimated 16 transfer window signings, Baxter told me on BOLLOCKZ! “The boys are conscious of the difference now after last year. Everybody knows what they’re getting now, they’re chasing us.

“They’re all working, it’s a double whammy, in the past everybody wanted to beat Kaizer Chiefs, ow they want to beat the champions - let’s get on with it!

“We’ll get us to being the hunted not the hunter. Clive Barker, a like a lot. But I don’t know much about his team with all those signings! We’ll prepare our game, Knowledge Musona is as ready as he can be having just come back to the club.

“Even at Manchester United at Chelsea, players have to settle but Musona is looking solid in training, a great asset. But as you say, Aces aren’t your usual promoted team.

“But they could also start slowly, so many are new. Clive will win them up for this and it could be a very tough game.

“We’ve got AmaTuks in the MTN8 quarter-final a week later. It’s a Barker double – Clive and Steve – it’s a tough start. They both organise their teams well, make sure they’re competitive.

“Clive’s team will be structured and organised. We’ve got Moroka Swallows early on as well. The only injury problems are Siyabonga Nkhosi’s calf injury and Keegan Richie went down yesterday with an aggravated Achilles tendon.

“And George Lebese is suspended from yellow cards which are hanging over from the season before.

“Apart from Orlando Pirates, all the teams like SuperSport United and Wits are trying to be like Platinum Stars, coming from off the radar with no pressure on them.

“People have invested a lot of money, that’s where the trouble will come from!”

The opening round:
TONIGHT        Mpumalanga Aces      20:00     Kaizer Chiefs
TOMORROW    Golden Arrows           15:00     Ajax Cape Town
TOMORROW    Moroka Swallows       15:00     University of Pretoria
TOMORROW    SuperSport United       20:15     Free State Stars
TOMORROW    Maritzburg United        20:15     Polokwane City
SUNDAY         Bloemfontein Celtic      15:00     Mamelodi Sundowns
SUNDAY         Platinum Stars              15:00     Bidvest Wits
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1 comment:

  1. I found Peter Mancer's comments after the Black Label cup to be very misguided. He suggests if the bundesliga can get full houses then so can the PSL. Firstly, the quality of the product that the PSL offers is not even in the same stratosphere as the bundesliga or any west european league for that matter. The lingering issues that make attending PSL matches unpleasant to attend still exist. By this I mean disrespect for reserved seat numbers, vuvuzelas blowing in ur ear, smoking of dagga, lack of working toilets and food/drink at the ground are what make people not attend. Unless its a match involving chiefs/pirates/sundowns you are not likely to see more than 10 000 persons at a game - if lucky. If football wishes to compete with cricket and rugby as a major sport attracting fans then these issues must be dealt with and initiatives must be implemented to ensure the quality of the product improves. The malaise that Bafana is going through is in no small measure attributed to the quality of South Africa's own league. Indeed European clubs are no longer even using SA as a venue where scouts can be sent to see the cream of Africa's emerging talent, instead scouts are going directly to the source of such talent because there is no benefit in such talent coming to ply its trade in SA like Siaka Tiene most notably did.
    So sadly, Mr Mancer your most inventive marketing plans will not ensure that Black Aces-Polokwane City becomes a sell out anytime soon.