Former Cape Town City goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters says winning any trophy in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is a huge motivation to any football player as he backed the 'Big Three' to do well in the Telkom Knockout Cup this season.
Currently on the books of Ajax Cape Town, the experienced keeper led the Citizens to their first TKO Cup trophy two seasons ago, and he spoke to Goal ahead of this weekend's TKO Cup matches.
“I think winning any trophy is an amazing feeling. I spoke to coach Mushin (Ertugral) about the 2008 Telkom Knockout Cup final and he says it was one of the best for him. It is also special to any player,” Walters told Goal.
“I think it will be a difficult and a challenging tournament this season. Obviously many clubs are looking to win this one,” said the keeper.
“Look at Cape Town City, they reached three cup finals in three seasons and SuperSport United were there in all those finals on three occasions. I'm sure they will do well again,” explained Walters.
“So, I think that teams will look for success in the cups and SuperSport has won many over the last six or seven seasons,” said the 36-year-old.
The former Maritzburg United keeper also shared his thoughts on the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates whom he says are always vying for titles, but also warned not to rule out the reigning champions, Bidvest Wits.
“The big guns such as Chiefs and their fans are looking to win something and their coach is also hungry. I am sure they are contenders,” he added.
“Sundowns and Wits are big money spenders and they are always expected to be in cup finals. I also believe that Pirates will also want to do better and carry on from last season,” continued the former Bafan Bafana keeper.
“Wits are the champions and together with Sundowns, they have a big wage bill. This means the owners and directors will expect trophies in any competition,” he responded.
“The pressure is also there on Pirates to obviously reward themselves. They finished on a high last season and I like how they play their football. So, the first thing is to get a trophy this season,” he noted.
“In saying that, both Pirates and Chiefs coaches will also want to prove a point that they can lead big clubs to glory,” he reacted.
Speaking about his former team and his coach in Benedict McCarthy, the Cape Town-born keeper has warned the reigning MTN8 Cup champions of balancing their PSL and cup commitments.
“I think they are proving to be cup specialists in the league. They have an ambitious coach and I am sure he will want to challenge for a trophy again,” said Walters.
“However, I remember a few years ago when Ajax won the MTN8 Cup and were found at the bottom of the table fighting relegation at the end of the season,” he reflected.
“I think Benni's biggest challenge is to find a balance between the league and Cups. They have ambitions and he must just find the right combinations and the right plan between the league and Cup games,” he concluded.