Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques says his side’s strong belief in their own abilities is what drove them on to success in the MTN8 final against SuperSport United on Saturday night.
The Birds came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Giorgi Nergadze and Bennett Chenene to win their first top eight title in 33 years.
Marques, who took over the reins of the club at the end of last season when Gordon Igesund left for the Bafana Bafana job, says he never doubted his side’s character and ability to lift silverware this season.
“We believed in it, I am an optimist and I always thought that this moment would become a reality,” Marques says. “I kept driving this into the players, if we have faith in what we do and believe in our abilities then nothing can stop us. And I think we proved it today.
“Being 1-0 down was a wake-up call, it was not the first time we have been behind this season. Again our team has shown character, we are a team with personality and we proved it today.
“At this moment I want to thank the players for making this happen, happy for the supporters, for the club and our loyal sponsors, and I’m happy that [Swallows] CEO Leon Prins gave me the opportunity.”
SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt cut a forlorn figure, knowing that his side had enough chances to win the game, but were let down by poor finishing, with forward Mabhuti Khenyeza being the most wasteful.
“I didn’t think we played great, though we had great opportunities to win the game. Mabhuti Khenyeza missed a great chance before they scored. But all credit to them … I didn’t think it was a great game of football, but we had chances to win it.”
Hunt says at 1-1 he tried to be positive and go for the win, making attacking substitutions that he believes should have paid dividends.
“With the substitutes, we tried to be positive, I always try to win football matches, when Kermit [Eramus] and George [Maluleka] came on we looked a bit better and had some great opportunities. Just the final ball or the final pass was lacking.
“Every time we broke we looked like scoring tonight, that’s what you get against Swallows, they have got two teams, one defending team and one attacking team, just the final pass ...”