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Johannesburg Men’s Regional League showcases thrills and drama that make football a beloved sport around the world

Indlovu and Neasm reflect on their experiences, drawing inspiration and lessons for the future.

The Safa Johannesburg men’s regional league once again served as a battleground for football supremacy, filled with suspense, upsets, and exceptional performances.

As the dust settles on another gripping season, Opopo FC has once again etched their name in the annals of regional league history by clinching the top spot for the third consecutive season.

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With their eyes set on securing a ticket to the Provincial Playoffs, Opopo’s dominance looms large.

Neasm Academy left back Thokozani ‘TK’ Ngubeni.
Neasm Academy left back Thokozani ‘TK’ Ngubeni.

However, challenges lie ahead as they prepare to face off against other league winners from Joburg’s regional streams in their quest for glory.

In a season marked by unpredictability, Indlovu FC emerged as a formidable force, claiming the second position while also stunning upset over the reigning champions’ invisible season.

Their victory over Opopo stands as a testament to the unpredictable nature of football, showcasing the beauty of underdog triumphs amid giants.

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Amid the fierce competition, another Midrand side, Neasm Academy fought against relegation threats, epitomising the values of perseverance and tenacity.

Neasm Academy winger Austin Mashego.
Neasm Academy winger Austin Mashego.

Their inaugural season in the league may have been challenging, but their survival underscores the grit and determination required to navigate the demanding landscape of regional football.

The Safa Men’s Regional League season begins each year in September most often and runs until the end of the season when the National Championships are played.

Indlovu FC player Gift Mmola.
Indlovu FC player Gift Mmola.

It serves as a platform for over 2 000 local football clubs and more than 50 000 players to showcase their skills and passion for the beautiful game.

Neasm Academy keeper Mosa Masinya.
Neasm Academy keeper Mosa Masinya.

The countrywide competitions lead to the Provincial Play-offs held towards the end of each season. This eventually resulted in a total of 18 teams broken into two teams per province, promoted to the Safa Second Division.

Indlovu FC’s midfield Shanen Booysen.
Indlovu FC’s midfield Shanen Booysen.

As a culmination of the regional league season, provincial squads are selected across all nine provinces plus an invitational team from the University Sports South Africa (USSA) to compete in the National Championships. The 10 teams are pitted against each other in a public draw, conducted by Safa.

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