Goals galore mark great season

 

Mikia Kalati

The first round of the 2014/15 Vodacom Premier League season came to an end this past weekend, with Lioli opening a seven-point gap at the top of the 14-team table.

Lioli’s bitter rivals and defending champions Bantu are in second position as the league takes a deserved, festive season break.

I have to say the league was very entertaining from the word go. Premier League rookies, Likila United, were on fire in the opening stages of the campaign and shocked many people with victories over seasoned Premier League campaigners, such as Likhopo and Linare.

LDF also started the campaign in rampant form, as they registered six wins in a row, but their impressive run would be stopped by Lioli who hammered them 3-0.

The army side have never been the same since losing their 100 percent record and now occupy third position on the table.

Of course, this is a big test for their coach, Malefetsane Pheko, who is only in his second season in charge, to get the team back at their best once again.

The country most successful side with nine league titles to their name, Matlama, had a strong finish to the first round and it will be very interesting to see if they can be consistent in the New Year to give Lioli and Bantu a run for their money.

Despite being in second position and only losing once while star-player Litšepe Marabe, leads the scoring charts with 10 goals, Bantu have not been at their best this campaign and will have to improve their game in 2015.

It’s going to be even tough for A Matšo Matebele as they are also headed for the 2015 African Champions League campaign which gets underway in February. It will surely require them to up their game and also reinforce their squad, if they are to avoid crashing out of the prestigious tournament in the first round.

There is no doubt that Lioli have been the in-form team, hence their seven-point lead.

Like I had said in my predictions when the season started, Tse Nala have the best squad in the league and for me, remain favourites to be crowned champions in May next year.

Tse Nala has been using a rotational system among their squad as they try to keep everybody fresh and happy and so far, it has been working wonders for them.

Like I had said, the challenge was always going to be keeping their players fresh especially after most of them had had a busy year with Likuena during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

I’m also very happy with the goal-scoring ratio this campaign. Our strikers have been really working hard to make sure we are entertained with goals.

Over the last three years, the top marksman found the net 13 times, but it looks like we will see more goals this campaign as Marabe already has 10 goals, yet he still has 13 more matches to play before the season comes to a close.

This is also very good news for our national team. The fact that we already have about five other players with six goals each and over 10 players with five goals apiece augurs well for the national team, Likuena.

Among the top goal-scorer list, we have players such as Tšeliso Chenene of Likila, Thabiso Brown of Kick4Life and Thabo Seakhoa of LCS.

All the three players are under 25 years of age and it is only their first year of topflight football, which shows they are good prospects for the future.

All in all, I think our league continues to grow from strength to strength as we saw the sponsorship of the annual Top4 and Top8 competitions being increased substantially.

My hope is 2015 will be even better as far as sport is concerned.

With that said, I would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as this is my last column for 2014.

 

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