The fanatical football fans who worship at the altar of the soccer pitches should brace themselves for a bumpy ride when the Absa Premiership gets underway.
The Premier Soccer League has announced 23 August as the kick-off for the 2016/17 season and this spells exciting action for the legion of devotees who worship the patron saints of the pitch with a string of songs.
For soccer fans in Limpopo, the focus will be on newcomers Baroka FC who gained automatic promotion to the Premier league after winning the National First Division (NFD). The Ga-Mphahlele-based outfit has provided us with a glimmer of hope for rural village teams hoping to make it to the big leagues. They have already proven they can compete with top clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs.
The team is under the tutelage of retired teacher, Kgoloko Thobejane, who has no coaching qualifications.
He, together with club Chairperson, Khurishi Mphahlele, have made their intention clear, stating they will make the PSL their home and even went as far as saying they can win the league.
Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns will not be involved in the opening fixtures as they will be engaged in the CAF Champions League having reached the semi-finals at the end of last season.
The Brazilians will return to the domestic scene on 28 August when they take a short trip to cross-town rivals, SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
All eyes will be on the Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who had a mediocre runs in the previous season in which they finished with little to write home about. Both Pirates coach Mushin Ertugral and his Amakhosi counterpart Steve Komphela know how tough it is to coach these aristocrats of South African football and the fact that their teams performed dismally in the previous season makes matters even worse.
It was quite refreshing to see the Soweto Derby ending within regulation time during the Carling Black Label Cup, with the Mighty Amakhosi emerging triumphant with a brilliant 2-0 scoreline.
The reigning champions have their work cut out for them as Baroka FC and the two top clubs will be gunning for their spot as they all have something ro prove. Bafana Ba Style kabo Yellow have brought smiles to their supporters’ faces but most importantly to club boss, Patrice Motsepe who is always willing to pull out his wallet to ensure the club is properly run and produce positive results.
Let the games begin…