Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
3 minute read
31 Jul 2018
1:21 pm

It’s about time the new season starts

Sibongiseni Gumbi

A lot of fans can hardly wait now for the start of the new season which promises to be the best we have ever had.

Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

This is because the old guard – Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs – have been rattled as they went through dry spells in the past three seasons and will be looking to make amends this time around.

They have both hit the transfer market with the zest of a hungry bear. Pirates have gone quietly in their pre-season and only played friendlies behind closed doors and coach Micho Sredojevic whet appetites when he said he was cooking up something that will leave everyone in awe.

Amakhosi have played a few friendlies – winning two and losing two. But those were just friendlies and not much should be read into them.

It will be a big moment on Saturday afternoon at Loftus Stadium when Khama Billiat returns to the venue where he made so many remarkable memories. He will now of course be with Amakhosi as they meet defending Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Fans will be looking to see how their team fare without Billiat and Percy Tau who were the main men in their incredible run last term.

We have taken time to look at five things that each of these teams need to do to ensure a successful campaign next season.

But there are also the likes of Maritzburg United and Free State Stars who put up a formidable and inspiring fight last season and having someone close will want to get to it and do what was last done by Santos in the 2001/02 season when the least fancied side won the league title.

We also spoke to former Manning Rangers player Innocent Chikoya who was part of the team who won the first league title under the Premier Soccer League. He reminisced about how they didn’t believe Gordon Igesund when he told them they could just make history.

SuperSport United captain Dean Furman has thrown his full weight behind Kaitani Tembo who has been interim coach since Eric Tinkler resigned some four months ago.

Matsatsantsa were expected to find a new mentor before the season started but have opted to give Tembo a chance to prove himself. We wish him all the best because we need new faces in our dugouts. I am glad we haven’t seen the rotation of the same old faces this time around although some may argue that Chiefs brought back Giovanni Solinas who had been at Free State Stars before.

Moeketsi Sekola who was once a top goal scorer also speaks about how he wants to get back to his best and how he feels Highlands Park is the right team for him.

The MTN8 was launched yesterday and all eight teams brought their top guns to Johannesburg Park Station to declare war. The fixtures are exciting and everyone wants this cup to give their fans something to brag about early on.

Please note that Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark is away for a little while and I will be standing in for him in the meantime.

I enjoyed putting this edition together and I hope you also enjoy reading it.