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Bradley Carnell on the game that sparked his career

Bradley Carnell has recalled the match 25 years ago that sparked his career into action.

Then a fresh-faced 16-year-old playing for Wits University, Carnell lined up against Kaizer Chiefs in the 1995 BP Top 8 Final and proceeded to score the only two goals of the game as the Students picked up the first of two trophies that season under coach John Lathan.

“It’s funny ... I managed to find an external hard drive of mine the other day and there are a few clips of that game,” he told Wits’ official website. “It was really enjoyable and refreshing to go through those highlights and it is amazing how time flies.

“I just remember being fearless; that is something that has always been part of my culture and character ... not having ‘respect’ for the opposition and enjoying the underdog role.

“I think, as Wits University back then, we really enjoyed the underdog tag, we were all fearless. We had some really good fighters, we might not have had the most talented footballers but we were the hardest to play against and I think that is what stood us apart from teams back then, and that is why we could embrace those challenges back then.

“I think the first goal was a corner-kick, there was a rebound and I was the first to react and I hit a low drive past Brian Baloyi and into the side of the net.

“The second one was also a corner-kick which I actually won and then took the set-piece which Brian [Baloyi] came out and punched straight into my direction, I took a terrible first touch and then just decided to whip it back into the box.

“Lucky for me, the ball just kept on travelling and travelling, and Neil Tovey and Brian sort of clashed on the goal line and the ball dropped in under the crossbar. That is something that really sparked my career in a big way.”

Carnell spent one season at Chiefs before heading to Germany, where he enjoyed 12 successful years. He is currently employed as an assistant coach at MLS side New York Red Bulls.


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