Redknapp praises SA standard

2011-07-25 13:05

Johannesburg - Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp spoke in glowing terms about the standard of football in South Africa as the squad returned to England with the Vodacom Challenge trophy on Sunday morning.

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates provided the perfect test for the players with three tough matches in the 10-day tour, concluding with the final at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

Chiefs beat Tottenham 1-0 with an injury time goal in the opener in Polokwane and they then drew 1-1 with Pirates in Nelspruit before facing the PSL champions again in the final.

And the repeat of the 2007 final produced a repeat scoreline as Tottenham ran out 3-0 winners again.

Rafa van der Vaart curled home a second free-kick in as many games to open the scoring in the first half and then finished one-on-one from Benoit Assou-Ekotto's pass to double the lead in the second half.

Jermain Defoe rounded it off in style with a close-range volley from Gareth Bale's cross in the 87th minute.

"It was a good 10 days in South Africa," reflected Harry on the club's website.

"We've had tough games, the opposition was excellent and that was the case again in the final.

"I was very impressed with the standard of the players and their technique, they are well-coached and well-organised. They play to a very high standard.

"Pirates are a good team, they play some fantastic football and gave us problems at times. We had to work hard to get the win."

Although delighted to win the tournament, Harry reiterated that there is only one target in pre-season - the team's Premier League opener against Everton at the Lane on August 13.

"It's a six-week pre-season and we have to make sure we're at our peak for the first game at home to Everton," he added. "That's what we're building towards.

"We're not there yet, but the players are getting fitter and this trip was all part of the process to get there."


  • RacingShark - 2011-07-25 18:58

    Thank you Harry. I really hope the rest of SA teams lift there game. There is nothing to stop us from having one of the Top soccer leagues in the world. And no money is not required, just look at the Argentine and Brazil football leagues. Those teams also lack financial muscle yet can easily compete with the best in Europe.

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