The incredible journey that took Patrice Motsepe’s Mamelodi Sundowns to the summit of African football may have inspired a rethink and change of attitude by South African clubs to pan-African club competitions.
The 2017 Confederation of African Football (CAF) club tournaments in both the Champions League and the Confederation Cup gets underway this weekend, with Bidvest Wits travelling to Réunion to face minnows Saint Louisanne in a Champions League tie, and defending champions Downs have received a bye into the next round.
“I hope what Sundowns have achieved in Africa and putting the country on top of the pile last year will encourage more local clubs to start taking African club competitions more seriously,” said South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan.
For the Students, it gets significantly tougher if they negotiate their way past the islanders, as Egyptian giants Al Ahly lie in wait in the first round. It’s a tie that should give an indication of how much Wits have progressed since Gavin Hunt took charge three years ago.
“I have always wanted to do well in the Champions League,” Hunt said.