Arrows pumped up ahead of United tie

2015-04-11 00:00

WHEN Golden Arrows were relegated from the PSL at the end of the 2013/14 season there were many who thought that the glory days of the Durban club were over.

The National First Division [NFD] is not a pretty place. Far from the glitz and glamour of the PSL, it can be very easy for clubs to disappear into obscurity once they make the drop down to South Africa’s second tier.

But Arrows, under the mentorship of former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett, have bounced back phenomenally well and are favourites to win the league and secure automatic promotion back to the PSL. With just six rounds of fixtures remaining, Arrows find themselves four points clear of Jomo Cosmos at the top of the table.

But today Arrows’ focus will not be on log position. A Nedbank Cup quarter-final awaits at Peter Mokaba Stadium, where they will take on PSL powerhouse SuperSport United. Arrows are the last KZN-based club left in the competition, and they made sure of that by ousting AmaZulu and Natal United in the last 32 and last 16, respectively.

“We’re obviously pretty relaxed going into the game. We go in with no expectations. Everybody has written us off so the pressure will be on them,” Bartlett, Bafana’s second all-time leading goal scorer behind Benni McCarthy, told Weekend Witness yesterday. “We’ll go in there looking to give a good account of ourselves, and if we can cause a surprise then that will be a bonus.”

As welcomed as a Nedbank Cup semi-final place would be for Abafana Bes’thende, promotion to the PSL remains the priority.

“We said at the start of the season that automatic promotion back to the PSL was our priority, and we are very close to making that happen. I believe we can achieve it with a couple of games still to go,” said Bartlett.

The good news for Arrows is that their next NFD clash is on April 18 when they travel to basement dwellers Maluti FET. That gives Bartlett’s players a full week to recover, meaning that he can field a full strength team today without any worries of burnout or fatigue.

The secret to Arrows’ success this season, Bartlett says, has been the work they have put in defensively.

“The key for us was to be a lot more organised and we have played with a lot more structure,” he said. “In our first 10 games of the season we kept eight clean sheets.”

SuperSport coach Gordon Igesund, meanwhile, has spoken about how important a trophy would be to his side’s season.

Despite SuperSport being overwhelming favourites for tonight’s clash, he is not taking anything for granted.

“They [Arrows] are a good side,” said Igesund. “They beat AmaZulu, who are a PSL side, so that tells us that we cannot take them lightly.”

Tonight’s match kicks off at 8.15 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

Nedbank Cup quarter-final fixtures

Today

3 pm — Black Leopards v Vasco Da Gama

8.15 pm — SuperSport United v Golden Arrows

Tomorrow

3 pm — Black Aces v Mamelodi Sundowns.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.