Three former Hyundai A-League players will take centre stage in South Africa on the weekend when Supersport United tackle Cape Town City in the Telkom Knockout Final.
New Zealand internationals Jeremy Brockie and Michael Boxall will be aiming for their second piece of silverware with SuperSport after claiming another South African cup title last season, while Matt Sim will line up for surprise league front-runners Cape Town City.
Saturday’s match in Polokwane will see the top two teams in the Premier Division clash for the first time this term – similar to the Westfield FFA Cup Final in Melbourne last week – with City (24 points) leading SuperSport (21) in their first season.
Sim, a former midfielder and left-back for Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers, is hoping to claim his first title as a professional footballer at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Success would also be a significant achievement for City, who were formed when Mpumalanga Black Aces were rebranded and relocated before the 2016-17 campaign.
“It will be a massive win for the club and obviously very special to myself as well as I have been a part of some great squads but never quite got that silverware,” Sim told Goal Australia.
“I came here to be part of a successful club and although we are new we are not here to just make up numbers.”
Sim has returned to City’s squad over the past few of weeks following an ankle injury, with the 28-year-old Australian making his first start since October 19 last week in a 3-2 league win over Bidvest Wits.
Having played in City’s past two games, including scoring away to South African giants Kaizer Chiefs, Sim is thrilled to be fit in time to take on Brockie and Boxall.
“This a huge game. SuperSport have a very strong squad and they are doing well in the league as are we,” Sim said.
“The build-up has been pretty big and the general feel is that it is going to be a very competitive game – a little extra incentive for me to also beat the Kiwi boys.”
Brockie has been impressed by how Sim has settled in South Africa and quickly become a regular for his club but the 29-year-old striker hopes SuperSport’s experience of winning the Nedbank Cup in May can make the difference on Saturday.
“We are going along quite nicely at the moment. We haven’t lost since the first game of the season,” Brockie told Goal Australia.
“Fourteen games unbeaten, sitting second on the table and in a cup final this weekend.
“I guess the scary thing is we haven’t actually hit full tilt yet, so exciting times ahead for the club, hopefully.”
With over 4million South African rand – approximately $390,000 – on offer to the winning club, winning the Telkom Knockout is a big deal.
Brockie expects the final to be a “great spectacle”.
“There will be a crowd easily of 25,000, which will seem like more because they sing, dance and support football like mad in this country,” the former Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets forward said.
“I can’t wait. Six months ago I won my first major trophy and hopefully I get that feeling and experience again.”