Stuart Baxter could become the first coach in South African soccer history to win the Nedbank Cup on three occasions if his SuperSport United side are successful against Orlando Pirates in the tournament decider on June 24.
Baxter‚ who will link up permanently with the South African national team after the final‚ has already lifted the Nedbank Cup trophy twice‚ with Kaizer Chiefs in 2013 and SuperSport last season.
He is part of a select group of 12 coaches to have achieved that feat‚ but no one has yet claimed a hattrick of wins.
It would be a fine way to sign off for Baxter‚ who also has two league titles and an MTN8 win since he started coaching in the PSL in 2012.
His SuperSport side lost in the Telkom Knockout final earlier this season to Cape Town City.
Of the 12 coaches who have multiple Nedbank Cup competition wins‚ aside from Baxter‚ two are still with PSL clubs – Gavin Hunt (BidVest Wits) and Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Others include Ted Dumitru (Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs) and Muhsin Ertugral (Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town).
It was a more common occurrence in the early days of the competition‚ which was launched in 1971‚ as Chiefs coach Thomas Johnson won the first two titles.
Club owner Kaizer Motaung was co-coach for the second of those‚ and won the trophy again as AmaKhosi head coach in 1977.
Pirates’ back-to-back wins in 1974 and 1975 were engineered by coach Tony Sanderson‚ while Eddie Lewis won the title with Wits University (1978) and Moroka Swallows (1989)‚ the longest wait for a second victory.
Elkiam Khumalo‚ the father of Chiefs legend Doctor Khumalo‚ collected the title with AmaKhosi in 1976 and 1981‚ while Mario Tuani did likewise with Chiefs in 1979 and Moroka Swallows in 1983.
Finally‚ Roy Matthews lifted the trophy with Jomo Cosmos (1990) and SuperSport United (1999).