By PRECIOUS RAJANE
GOLDEN Arrows’s newly appointed coach, Muhsin Ertugral is known as cup specialist after having guided Kaizer Chiefs to a number of silver-wares.
As if guiding Chiefs to cup glories in his heydays as the Amakhosi coach between 1999 and 2003, the Turkish mentor went on to stirred Ajax Cape Town into lifting the Absa Cup in 2007 before he could guide the club to finish fourth on the log in the same year.
Just two season ago when he left the country as Ajax coach to assume the same position back in his home for the Turkish Super League side Sivasspor, the 60 year old Ertugral had guided the Cape side to the final match of the MTN 8 which they lost 6-1 to Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium in 2009.
That Ertugral is back in the country as Arrows coach is now history, and his character as cup specialist will be put to test and this time by the red hot Orlando Pirates whom they face in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout.
Abafana be’Sthende gained their passage through to this semis at the expense of Ajax whom they beat 2-1 last Sunday.
Arrows captain, Thanduyise Khuboni believes that the appointment of Ertugral was a good step toward the right direction by the management, and the coach has brought self-confidence among players.
“We as players have gained self-confidence under the guidance of Ertugral, and I don’t see any reason why it is going to be impossible for us to beat Pirates,” said Khuboni after the draw.
Lucky Lekgoathi, the Orlando Pirates captain was cautious about the match, saying: “It is a tough draw, especially that Arrows has proved to be on the rise, but we are ready for them.”
Pirates narrowly beat rivals, Moroka Swallows 2-1 on their way to these semi-finals.
In another draw, Bidvest Wits and Santos will entertain each other with the latter looking forward to win this one and go on to their second final match in a knockout cup after having reached and won the final match of the Nedbank Cup in 2010 where they beat AmaZulu 3-1.
Said Wits captain, Stanton Fredericks: “We have a lot of work to do, but ready for the match. We concentrating on our strengths and hope that will work on our favour, we saw what Santos did to Supersport so we working on not making the same mistakes and go through to the finals.”