Pirates, United chase CAF glory

ORLANDO Pirates and SuperSport United have confirmed they will be chasing continental glory next season.

The two clubs are to represent the country following their league and cup success last season and have begun the process of getting ready for next year's competitions.

Entry forms have first to be lodged by the end of the month with the Confederation of African Football, then player registrations must be done before the end of the year.

The Buccaneers will play in the African Champions League and Matsatsantsa in the African Confederation Cup after winning the league and the Nedbank Cup respectively.

United coach Gavin Hunt said this week he believed the Champions League was a winnable competition for South African clubs because the standard of football was not too taxing, but the players had to learn to overcome the travel difficulties and alien conditions.

"Although we are not playing in it next year, the Champions League is the ultimate competition to win. That is where you want to be with your club," he said.

Pirates set their desire to win the Champions League as a goal this year but in their birthday year were embarrassingly bungled out at the first hurdle.

It cost Brazilian coach Julio Cesar Leal his job.

The draw will be done next month in Cairo but there is no formal ceremony because the opening rounds are paired in committee rather than by drawing out of the hat to ensure that most of the early round contests are regional and that clubs from poorer countries do not incur ridiculous travel costs.

Pirates and United are likely to play in the first round, which begins the weekend after the conclusion of the Africa Cup of Nations.