The return of Carnell

2010-08-21 00:00

BRADLEY Carnell may have timed his return to Absa Premiership football expertly after 12 years furthering his career in Germany.

With the MTN8 competition underway this weekend, the left back’s new team SuperSport United travel to Dobsonvill­e Stadium (3 pm kickoff) for a MTN8 Wafa Wafa quarter-final engagement with Moroka Swallows this afternoon.

Carnell may use this new cup event of the season to show all and sundry what he has learnt over the years.

After all, it was during the Top 8 tourney that Carnell announced his arrival on the big stage.

As a then 21-year-old turning out for Wits University, Carnell scored a brace to shock fancied Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in the BP Top Eight final at old Soccer City in 1995.

The Students, under the guidance of John Lathan, went on to win the Coca Cola Cup, beating Orlando Pirates 1-0 through Benson Otiti’s header.

Following his heroics in the finals, Carnell was snatched by Chiefs two seasons later.

The Bundesliga set-up became his new home, playing for VfB Stuttgart, Karlsruher SC, Borrusia Monchengladabach and Hansa Rostock.

The Johannesburg-born rock solid defender has collected over 40 Bafana Bafana caps and was a World Cup squad member in South Korea/Japan in 2002.

With coach Gavin Hunt having signed him on a two-year deal as replacement for Tsietsi Mohoa, Carnell is likely to line up against Swallows today.

His experience might just be what the three-time Premiership champions are in need of.

Since former coach Pitso Mosimane has left for Bafana Bafana, United’s cup run has been poor.

Hunt’s decision to lure back “old crocks” from overseas has yielded positive results.

Former Holland-based striker Glen Salmon may not have scored as many goals as he was expected to, but the former Bafana Bafana international’s contribution in United’s retaining of the League crown was evident.

Hunt’s most prized asset, Daine Klate, may have transferred to Orlando Pirates, but Hunt has a balanced team in Botswana international midfielder Dipsy Selolwane, utility Jeffrey Ntuka and recalled winger Lyle Lakay, who scored in FC Cape Town’s 2-0 win over Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup last season.

While Hunt looks to Carnell for cup success, Swallows’ German coach Rainer Zobel will turn to Siyabonga Nomvete, another experienced campaigner who has returned home after years in Italy, Denmark and Sweden.

The Birds have cleaned out a lot of dead wood in their squad and they appear to have a youthful, energetic look about them this season.

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