South African soccer followers must have turned green
with envy as they watched some exhilarating English Premiership soccer over the
Those same supporters must be licking their lips in
anticipation of what promises to be a bumper 21 weeks of football.
You see, after a short December break, which was one
of many stops-and-starts in the year 2015, the Absa Premiership resumes next
Friday with a mouth-watering encounter between Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein
That match will be a precursor to a full fixture that
will see all PSL clubs return to action with the Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi
Sundowns game being the top liner.
The two sides will be doing it again less than a month
following the Telkom Cup final on Reconciliation Day, in which The Brazilians
humiliated Amakhosi 3-1 to be crowned champions.
Besides the league action, there is still one more cup
competition to be slotted into the
remaining 21-odd weeks of this season.
That is the Nedbank Cup.
This cup can be viewed as probably the last chance for
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela and his Orlando Pirates peer Eric Tinkler to
salvage their jobs. That is if they are going to last until the competition
As things stand, the two were walking the proverbial
plank when the season went into recess with Komphela losing the Telkom Cup, his
second final loss in three months as he had come short in the MTN8 final where
his club succumbed 1-0 to Ajax Cape and Tinkler's charges lost in the CAF
Confederation Cup final.
Going into 2016, it still remains to be seen whether
their respective bosses will still give them the same support they did in the
Looking at the league race, it is going to be
interesting looking at say the top five clubs who all have a chance to clinch it as well as the bottom five where any
one of them can suffer the dreaded drop to the National First Division (NFD).
The fact that there are only six points between the
top five clubs Sundowns (26) Bidvest Wits (26) Mpumalanga Black Aces (24),
Chiefs (21) and Platinum Stars (19), tells an interesting story that points to
an exciting finish.
Also, Wits coach Gavin Hunt has three league
titles won with SuperSport United while
Mosimane has tasted the championship with the same Sundowns two seasons ago.
And how Muhsin Ertugral (Aces) and Cavin Johnson
(Stars) would like to put their own marker, let alone Komphela.
Add in the mix that four-time league championship
winning coach Gordon Igesund is sitting a mere 10 points below joint leaders
Sundowns and Wits at No 8 on the log, then you are assured of a humdinger
race leading to the finale in May.
Maritzburg United, University of Pretoria, Jomo Cosmos
and surprisingly Pirates, have it all to fight for to avoid relegation.
The Team of Choice has only gathered six, AmaTuks the
same number, with Cosmos having collected only 10 while Pirates have a measly 11 from 10 games
and are sitting in position 13.
Ajax are also not out of the woods as they have the
same number of points with Pirates from the same number of outings.
So whoever come in at Maritzburg as coach, Sammy
Troughton at AmaTuks, Jomo Sono at Cosmos and Tinkler, have their work cut out
for them in the dogfight to avoid the dreaded drop into the NFD, forever a poor
cousin of the elite league.
It's sure gonna be an interesting 21 weeks.
S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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