Tuks draw Chiefs
Johannesburg - Pretoria University coach Steve Barker could not hide a broad smile when his National First Division pace setters drew Kaizer Chiefs in the second round of the Nedbank Cup when they draw was made in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Barker has fond memories of mighty battles against Amakhosi when he was one of the midfield hardmen at Wits University in the 1990s.
Barker was in the Students' side that defeated Chiefs 2-0 in the BP Top Eight in 1995 2-0. Both goals were scored by Bradley Carnell who later joined Amakhosi before the Bafana Bafana defender left for Germany a decade ago where he is still playing.
Said Barker; "I could not have wished for a better draw. It is an exciting draw for me and the players. It is a win-win situation for us. If we can beat Chiefs it will be a tremendous boost for our promotion chances and even if we lose, we are determined to go out with a bang."
Barker said he was looking forward to meeting Chiefs on the pitch again. "I had some tremendous matches against Chiefs when I played for Wits. To me Chiefs are the best cup side in the country, no team has won as many cups as they have. It is the perfect draw for a club like Tukkies. It is our home game but I am more than happy to play at Loftus or the Super Stadium as our ground would not be big enough for this cup tie."
But the PSL have a huge headache, as chief operation officer Ronnie Schloss explained: "We are struggling to find venues. Both Loftus and the Super Stadium are being regrassed in time for the Confederations Cup in June. It is a major headache. We have the same problem in Bloemfontein where Celtic play Orlando Pirates. Celtic's home ground the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium is not available and we are battling to find a suitable venue."
Pirates spokesman Mickey Modisane said the ground issue was a concern: "We are happy to play Celtic anywhere, but we need to make sure both team's supporters are accommodated."
On drawing Celtic, Modisane said: "This is an important competition for us. We are peaking at the right time but we are not reading anything into the fact Celtic are fighting relegation. The cup is a whole new ball game and they are worthy opponents."
Cup holders Mamelodi Sundowns are at home to Platinum Stars in an all PSL clash.
Said Downs’ Daniel "Mambush" Madau: "We are not worried about Stars. We are looking forward to defending our title."
In the only other all PSL clash, Santos are at home to Maritzburg United.
Minnows from the Vodacom League (Third Division) Peace Lovers of Polokwane, drew a home tie against Moroka Swallows while Ajax Cape Town will travel to Durban to play Nathi Lions.
PSL bottom club Bay United face First Division Black Leopards at home and in an all First Division clash Ikapa Sporting of Cape Town are at home to Winners Park.
The matches will be played from March 20-22. The PSL said they hoped to finalise venues and dates before the weekend.