The wait is finally over! The fever of the new season is finally about to get underway as the 2017/2018 ABSA Premier Soccer League season is set to kick-off with a banger, as defending League Champions Bidvest Wits take on Cape Town City at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.
It promises to be a spectacular season as teams will want to do better than last season. Others will try by all means in winning the league whilst others will want to cement their places – avoiding to be relegated.
With under a fortnight to go as the Transfer Window looms ever closer, there is still hope for those that haven’t strengthen but, time is running out. A five-horse race to lifting the title at the end of the season is on the cards. Cape Town City, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits and Supersport United.
The students will look to continue from where they left off in trying to reclaim the ABSA Premier League title. It will be tough no doubt about that, but looking at their new recruitments, they have recruited well with one name standing out above all – in highly experienced campaigner Steven Pienaar. The latter signed on a free transfer from Sunderland in the English Premier League. Some other acquisitions are Daylon Claasen, Slavko Damjanovic, Kobamelo Kodisang and Thato Thlone. We’ll just have to wait and gauge how their season will pan out.
Masandawana will want to go one better than last season after finishing in second place last season. They have added three marquee signings in Brimah Razak, George Lebese, Oupa Manyisa and Thokozani Sekotlong. You got admire Mosimane’s transfer business. Very prolific and a massive statement to the rest of the teams in the league. They are favourites to lifting the league, because their squad looks strong on paper.
Amakhosi are in need of luck as they’ve failed to win any silverware in the last two seasons. Philani Zulu, Teenage Hadebe, Bongolwethu Jayiya, are some of the signings that the Glamour boys have signed during the off season. It will be interesting to gauge how they gel in the team. If luck is with them this season, they might be the team that can actually cause a few surprises.
The Buccaneers have been awful. Their 80th Anniversary was a step for them to actually win something for the fans, but that never materialised. They did not even finish in the top 8 for the first time in their history of the PSL. With a new technical team on the cards, changes were imperative just prior to the season. New signings in Musa Nyatama and Thami Sangweni in that midfield will be critical, as club captain Oupa Manyiso joined rivals Sundowns. With this new team, Pirates might be the surprise package for the title with a new coach that knows the team very well and new assistant coach Rulani Mokwena, formerly of rivals Sundowns, in the team.
Supersport United will be a force to be reckoned with after a rather dismal finish last season in which they started well. With new coach Eric Tinkler moving from Cape Town City, he’ll feel the pressure as United are a team that always challenge for silverware.
At the bottom half, the relegation candidates for this season have to be between Bloem Celtic, Free State Stars, Barako FC, and Amazulu. Although some might give Amazulu the chance to survive, they have a chance to surprise a lot. Teams that are worrying has to be the two Free State teams. With new coaches at the helm and all European coaches, this is worrying times for the fans. They have not invested well in the market and that seriously raises concern.
Sit back and relax as this season will be filled with fun and some might just find it extremely difficult to chase the others as the race heats up to the top.
Author: Takalani Lufhugu