SuperSport United season preview

Overview: SuperSport United ended last season on a high with an emphatic victory over Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup. In the league however they dropped off somewhat towards the end of the campaign and ended fifth after at one stage looking set to challenge for the title. 

Although head coach Stuart Baxter has departed for the Bafana Bafana job, in Eric Tinkler the Pretoria team have appointed a coach who defied the odds to lead newly-formed Cape Town City to a third-placed finish last season. Tinkler’s vast knowledge and experience of South African football should allow him to slot in seamlessly, and the early signs are that he does not plan to mess much with what was largely a winning formula under Baxter, both in terms of style and personnel. 

Players to watch: New Zealand international marksman Jeremy Brockie has proven himself over the last two-and-a-half years to be a reliable goal-scorer in the PSL and may well challenge for the Golden Boot award this season. Attacking midfielder Thabo Mnyamane had an outstanding first season with Matsatsantsa and will also be looking to push on in order to keep himself in the Bafana Bafana setup, while development product Teboho Mokoena also excelled last season and is another one to keep an eye on.

New signings: The Tshwane outfit have been quiet in this department – possibly because they already have such a strong squad, or maybe because Tinkler wants to keep some continuity. Their notable additions include promising young Zimbabwean striker Price Dube, and Bafana-capped full-back Siyabonga Nhlapho, while Dove Wome has returned from a loan spell at Orlando Pirates.

Vodacom Soccer prediction: SuperSport are a well-run club with a quality squad paced full of experience, potential match-winners and some exciting young players. Add in Tinkler’s combination of winning mentality and calm demeanour, and Matsatsantsa should be in the top three mix, possibly as high as second.