The 2015 edition of the MTN8 competition was launched last night at Melrose Arch, Jozi.
The fixtures were already known from last season’s log standings, with the league champions facing the team that finished in eighth position and the runners-up taking on the seventh-placed team.
Representatives from the eight teams, mostly coaches, attended the launch of the tournament, which is in it’s eighth year.
There will be huge interest in the quarterfinals, as three of the four matches pits the mentors against their former teams.
For the first time since it’s inception, the last eight encounters will take place midweek on August 4 and 5.
Champions Kaizer Chiefs will meet Maritzburg United at the FNB Stadium, with Steve Komphela facing his former team in his first official match for the Glamour Boys.
“In this game pressure is everywhere. As defending champions pressure will be there. The MTN8 will set the tone for the season. It will determine how our preparations went,” Komphela said at the launch.
Mandla Ncikazi, who took over at Maritzburg after Komphela’s departure, is fired up for the match having served under the former Bafana Bafana caretaker coach as an assistant.
“We should be ready for Kaizer Chiefs. We will be the surprise package. Komphela knows what to expect from me and I also know what to expect from him. This is the right time to play Kaizer Chiefs because Steve Komphela hasn’t settled.”
Mamelodi Sundowns, who finished second, welcome Bloemfontein Celtic at the Lucas Moripe Stadium. The teams were represented by their officials Mike Ntombela and Khumbulani Konco.
Gavin Hunt also clashes with his former team when Bidvest Wits tackle SuperSport United at Bidvest Stadium.
Orlando Pirates will face their former coach Roger de Sa when they take on Ajax Cape Town.
“Ajax are coached by a good coach but coming to Orlando Stadium will be difficult for them. We will prepare well for the Ajax Cape Town match. We looking forward to playing them,” commented Pirates’ legendary goalkeeper Williams Okpara, who represented the club in the absence of the technical team which flew to Tunisia for their CAF Confederation Cup clash.
De Sa, who guided Pirates to the CAF Champions League final in 2013, highlighted that the Buccaneers’ participation in the continental competition is advantageous, “We still far from where Pirates is at the moment because they have been playing the Confederation Cup.”
Other MTN8 fixtures:
Tuesday, 4 August
7:30pm Bidvest Wits v SuperSport United – Bidvest Stadium
7:30pm Orlando Pirates v Ajax Cape Town – Orlando Stadium
Wednesday, 5 August
7:30pm Kaizer Chiefs v Maritzburg United – FNB Stadium
7:30pm Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic – Lucas Moripe Stadium