Cape Town - Despite their impressive MTN8 Cup final triumph over Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend, Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou said that he did not have to motivate his players with money prior to their much deserved victory.
The Urban Warriors clinched the Wafa-Wafa crown after defeating the defending champions, Chiefs, 1-0 in the final played at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, September 19.
Nathan Paulse’s penalty after the interval was the difference between the two sides on the day and sufficient to help the Urban Warriors win the top 8 tournament for the very first time in their club history.
Despite pocketing an R8m cheque, Efstathiou said his charges played with all their hearts out for the pride of the Mother City based outfit not because they were expecting fat bonuses after the game.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t have to motivate them with money,” revealed Efstathiou.
“You could see with the way they played from the first whistle until the last.
"Although they showed how hungry they are, it was not because they were promised money, they wanted to play.
“Roger (De Sa) said to me, please don’t talk to them about money because I don’t want them to think about it when they play.
“They knew that they’ll be rewarded with a win and that’s exactly what they did on the day.
“So it was not all about money but their pride and the pride of the team. The check is not important to the team but the trophy is.”
The Urban Warriors are currently on top of the Absa Premiership log table, and Efstathiou believes that their MTN8 glory will open the doors for them to compete for the league title at the end of the season.
“This team has been unbelievable; they have worked extremely hard to be where they are today," enthused the club CEO.
“The technical team is well managed by Roger (De Sa) and it is so wonderful the club.
“I really believe that this team will go very far, I don’t know what’s next from here but watch this team.
“I have no doubt that they will be at the top of the log at the end of this season.”
Ajax will be looking to continue with their winning momentum when they face Mamelodi Sundowns in a league clash at the Lucas Moripe stadium on Wednesday.
Kick-off is scheduled for 19:30.