The CAF Champions League and the Confederations Cup are underway as the teams have already started with the new campaign after Mamelodi Sundowns won the previous campaign. South African teams are also taking part in the African competitions and it seems this year all the teams are taking the competitions seriously.
Bidvest Wits are taking part in the CAF Champions League and they have already qualified for the second round of the competition after defeating Saint Louisienne FC from Reunion Islands. Wits will face Al Ahly of Egypt in the next round. Al Ahly are not an easy team to beat and if Wits should be able to beat them they will stand a great chance of advancing in the competition.
Mamelodi Sundowns are also another South African team that will be taking part in the CAF Champions League competitions defending champions. They won’t be playing the preliminary rounds as they are the defending champions. They are waiting for the preliminary rounds to be completed and then they will be able to be drawn with the winners in groups.
Platinum Stars are also participating in the CAF Confederations Cup with Supersport United FC. The two teams are representing South Africa in the CAF Confederations Cup. The two teams have qualified for the next round after defeating their opponents last weekend and they are now looking forward to qualify for the group stages and represent South Africa successfully.
The participation of 4 South African teams is vital for the growth of South African football and the national tam Bafana Bafana will benefit positively as the players will have enough experience and exposure with their African counterparts which will be an added advantage when they meet in national team competitions.
If all 4 team could manage to reach the group stages of the competitions and go further, it will mean South African football will be on the right track to claim the glory days founded by the likes of Pirates and Bafana Bafana in 1995 and 1996. It is about time that South African teams start showing the world that we did not host the 2010 FIFA World Cup just for the fun of it but learned a lot from the showpiece that was in front of our eyes for a period equal to a month in 2010.
Sundowns will be looking forward to defend their CAF CL trophy and Bidvest Wits will be looking to challenge for their win in the competition and reaching the semifinals will be an achievement for the Wits team. Even reaching the group stages will be an achievement for the team.
On the other hand Supersport United will be looking forward to win the CAF Confederations Cup. They stand a great chance of winning it by looking at the kind of players they have in their squad. The current Supersport players are all experienced and talented. The squad is big enough to participate in the CAF competition and also challenge for the PSL title.
Platinum Stars on the other hand are in danger of facing relegation in the PSL and their participation in the CAF Confederations Cup will be very cautious as they cannot afford to risk losing their PSL status. They need to collect enough points in the PSL and then they can focus on trying to win the CAF competition.
South African teams are doing well in the CAF competitions so far as 3 of them are through to the group stages where they will have to play for a first or second position to qualify for the quarterfinals. The recent success of South African teams in those competitions means South African football is growing each and every season since Orlando Pirates showed them how to do it when they reached both finals of the Confederations Cup and Champions League.
Mamelodi Sundowns are in the group stages of CAF Champions League where they will have to battle it out against the likes of Esperance of Tunisia, AS Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Saint-George. Sundowns are the defending champions and they are a team to beat.
Pitso Mosimane is looking forward to defend the CAF Champions League title. He has already planned the journey to defend it and all players are ready for the battle. The group that Sundowns are in is a tough one but they have been through thick and thin in African football championship and came back home as the best team in the continent.
Supersport United on the other hand are still in for a trophy in the CAF Confederations Cup where they have reached the group stages of the competition. It is the first time the Pretoria based side has managed to reach the group stages in CAF Competitions as they previously tried and were always knocked out in the preliminary rounds.
Stuart Baxter and his boys are in the competition to win it as they have realised the importance of competing in CAF competitions. Previously South African teams were not serious about CAF competitions until Pirates went and represented the country against other top African sides. If Supersport United should manage to get out of the group stages they will definitely win the competition. They are in the same group with the likes of TP Mazembe of DRC, Horoya AT of Guinea and CF Mounana of Gabon.
Platinum Stars FC are also in the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup. They have qualified to the group stages after winning both their preliminary round matches. They are now a few matches away from being crowned the CAF Confederations Cup champions. The team has reached the group stages for the first time in the competition and they are looking forward to reach the semifinals and even the finals.
The Platinum Stars players are all geared to get enough experience playing against African opponents. They are in the same group with the likes of top African sides like CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, MC Alger of Algeria and Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland.
The 3 South African teams are the hope of the nation in CAF competitions as their success will also be beneficial for the national team as the coaches will have enough pool of players to choose from. If they should manage to win the competition that will be history by itself and will be a motivation to other PSL sides to take the CAF competitions seriously.