Winning the MTN8 trophy multiple times as a coach has been something of a rare feat in the nearly 50-year history of the top eight competition, with only six tacticians managing to do so in the past.
But one of Cape Town City’s Eric Tinkler or Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi will join the select group after Saturday’s final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban as they both gun for a second title.
Mngqithi famously picked up his first MTN8 trophy victory when he led Lamontville Golden Arrows to the 2009 tournament win, thumping Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in the final, which remains today the biggest winning margin ever in a South African knockout decider.
And Tinkler claimed his maiden success in the competition with a penalty shoot-out victory for SuperSport United over current club Cape Town City in 2017, having months earlier swapped The Citizens for Matsatsantsa.
The coach with the most top eight wins is Stanley ‘Screamer’ Tshabalala, who claimed three victories over a 12-year period.
His first was with Orlando Pirates when they beat Benoni United over two legs of the 1978 decider. He later joined Sundowns and picked up wins in 1988 against Arcadia and 1990 versus Wits University.
The Brazilians have only claimed the trophy once in the 31 years since that last triumph, and at the helm was coach Gordon Igesund. That was his second title after he had led Pirates to the win in 2000.
He joined the exclusive list of multiple winners that also includes Kaizer Motaung (1973 & 1982) with Kaizer Chiefs and Jeff Buttler (1989 & 1991), also with the AmaKhosi.
Eddie Lewis won his first title in 1974 at Chiefs, and then repeated that feat two years later as a co-coach with Elkiam Khumalo, the father of AmaKhosi legend Doctor Khumalo.
Muhsin Ertugral also completed a double with Chiefs, though in two separate spells in charge of the side. The first was in the ‘Operation Vat Alles’ season of 2001/02, and then later in 2008 when he had returned to Naturena.
Some of the biggest names in South African coaching, such as Pitso Mosimane, Gavin Hunt, Jomo Sono and Stuart Baxter have only won the trophy once to date, while it was also a title that largely eluded Ted Dumitru down the years as he had a single success in 1987 with Chiefs. © Mzansi Football