Chiefs, Sundowns not motivated by money

2012-08-04 12:28

When Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns cross swords in their opening round match of the MTN8 competition, at Loftus Versfeld Stadium tomorrow, it will not be the money that motivates them.

The opener to the Premier League season affords the winning club a whopping R8-million in prize money but the quest for soccer glory outweighs the importance of the money for Sundowns’ billionaire president and owner, Patrice Motsepe.

And while the Motaung dynasty, with co-founder, former playing legend and current chairman Kaizer Motaung at the helm, may not control the gold mines that Motsepe has at his finger-tips, it is no exaggeration to suggest that the Amakhosi are a soccer gold mine in their own right.

If the clubs are not exactly greedy for cash, winning titles is altogether another matter and they have tended to dry up in recent years.

It is no secret that, during the last two decades or so, Sundowns have set for themselves the goal of replacing Chiefs as the most successful and dynamic club in the PSL, achieving this for extended periods in the 1990s and early 2000s.

But, despite perennial spending sprees on new players and a conveyor belt of coaches, Sundowns have little but heartache and disappointment to show for their considerable financial outlay during the past six seasons.

Acclaimed as the “Cup Kings” of the PSL, Chiefs have also fared relatively modestly during the same period.

While they may have won the MTN8 tournament, under its various guises, a record 14 times, they are not playing consistently with their old style of panache.

Beating Sundowns means as much to Chiefs as over-shadowing the Amakhosi means to The Brazilians - ensuring their games are still invariably tinged with excitement and pent-up tension.

Sundowns, for the coming season, have tempered their buying somewhat and retained former Dutch playing legend Johan Neeskens for a second year -and tempering their impatience for success could prove to their advantage.

Still, former Santos striker Eleazer Rodgers looks a good buy for the Brazilians and he could help eradicate a long-standing inadequacy in converting well-constructed opportunities into goals.

Chiefs, for their part, have made a change in the coaching department, with former Bafana Bafana mentor Stuart Baxter now in the hot seat.

However, they are likely to be without Siphiwe Tshabalala, their most potent match-winner, through injury – and this could prove a costly loss.

And the suspicion that Moroka Swallows may have lost some of their renewed spring and verve as a result of coach Gordon Igesund’s departure to Bafana, will be tested in the other MTN8 game of the weekend against AmaZulu at Dobsonville Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

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