Absa Premiership

Komphela admits to feeling Soweto derby pressure

2017-10-19 16:49
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - As the dividing line between Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates solidifies, the two coaches on either side of the divide have expressed their intentions and emotions, while keeping their covert tactics for the game secret. 

At the Soweto derby press conference in Auckland Park on Thursday afternoon, Steve Komphela admitted to the pressure that he has to deal with as Amakhosi head coach, even after the team’s midweek turnaround against Mamelodi Sundowns. 

“As I’m talking I’m trying to hold my breath, because adrenalin starts to kick in when you realise that there it is again. One thing I can be highly appreciative of at Chiefs, with utmost respect to Pirates, I don’t know how many of my colleagues I have sat next to here, there have been quite a number of them and I have been here seeing them come and go and it is part of the game. It’s massive pressure,” said Komphela, visibly holding back tears. 

Milutin Sredojevic, on the other side said he was taking it easy, knowing very well what games of this magnitude mean. 

“In front of you is a coach that has coached in very big derbies in each country where I was. Biggest derby of Uganda (Express and S.C Villa), Ethiopia (Saidama Coffe and Saint George), Tanzania (Simba S.C and Young Africans S.C ) and Sudan (All Hilal and Al Merrikh), and that means I’m used to it. Before feeling as coach, I feel as a supporter and feeling as a supporter without any pressure,” said Sredojevic. 

Both coaches refused to share any hint on how they planned to achieve the 2-0 scoreline they predicted for their respective teams. 

Sredojevic believed that despite his calm demeanour, he understood that the derby comes with a lot of responsibility and that Pirates were aiming for nothing short of a victory.    

“Here we are seeing something phenomenal, where families are divided in yellow and black. But the love for the game is connecting and uniting South Africans and I hope South Africa keep this for years and years to come because it is very special. With the biggest amount of responsibility, I try to take care of any details that could make the moment of brilliance to be on our side. I believe in my players and I believe in what we are doing,” said Sredojevic. 

The country’s biggest fixture will be taking place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday and supporters have been asked to arrive early, well before the kick-off to avoid a repeat of the problems experienced at the Carling Black Label clash in July. 

Kick-off is at 15:30.

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Fixtures
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Wits v AmaZulu FC, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Cape Town City FC v Orlando Pirates, Cape Town Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Maritzburg United, FNB Stadium 15:00
Free State Stars v Polokwane City, Goble Park 15:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v Ajax Cape Town, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:00
Baroka FC v Bloemfontein Celtic, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
Golden Arrows v Platinum Stars, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:00
Chippa United v SuperSport United, Sisa Dukashe Stadium 15:00
Saturday, 12 May 2018
Ajax Cape Town v Kaizer Chiefs, Cape Town Stadium 15:00
Bloemfontein Celtic v Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr Molemela Stadium 15:00
Maritzburg United v Golden Arrows, Harry Gwala Stadium 15:00
AmaZulu FC v Cape Town City FC, King Zwelithini Stadium 15:00
SuperSport United v Baroka FC, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:00
Polokwane City v Chippa United, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
Orlando Pirates v Free State Stars, Orlando Stadium 15:00
Platinum Stars v Wits, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 15:00
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The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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