Let the games begin

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Mikia Kalati

THE Econet Premier League second round gets underway this weekend following a busy transfer window which has seen the big guns making changes to their teams.

Lioli have appointed Morena Ramoreboli as their coach.  Ramoreboli has worked with a number of teams in the Free State, South Africa including as assistant coach at Bloemfontein Celtic and Maluti FET where he secured a famous victory over giants, Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup.

He takes over from Motebang Makhetha who was the interim coach after the club parted ways with Halemakale Mahlaha in October 2017.

The truth of the matter is that a number of key players in the Lioli squad are aging and Ramoreboli’s big task is bringing in young blood to take over from the likes of Bushy Moletsane, Shetsane Ramooseka and Motlalepula Mofolo.

Lioli surprised many people on Monday by announcing that the club was releasing seven players including the long-serving and influential Mofolo.

Tse Nala have not been as dominant as they were two seasons ago and time will tell if Ramoreboli is as good as the likes of Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu who brought a lot of success to the club.

The country most decorated side, Matlama, are also on a revival mission following the appointment of Mosito Matela early this season.

Tse Putsoa moved to third position on the log standings after beating LDF on Sunday. They moved to within three points of second placed Lioli.

However, they still have a long way to go before catching up with pacesetters Bantu who have a seven point lead.

Matlama have also bolstered their strike force with the acquisition of Lebajoa Mosehlenyane who joined after the expiry of his contract at Bantu.

The Leribe-born attacking midfielder did not get much game time at the league champions and now has a chance to rediscover the form he had while playing for the now defunct Mpharane Celtic and Linare.

Bantu have a lot on their plate as they begin their African Champions League campaign in February against Swaziland’s Mbabane Swallows.

The biggest challenge will be striking the right balance between their international and domestic assignments.

Local teams have struggled in the prestigious continental competition but A Matšo Matebele have a chance of rewriting the history books by becoming the first side to going past  the preliminary stages in two decades.

There are also teams like Kick4Life who were the surprise packages in the league last season going pound for pound with the like of Bantu and Lioli in the race for the league title.

It looks like it will also go down to the wire at the bottom end of the table where clubs with so much history like Linare and Likhopo have to play for survival.

Last season the two teams survived the chop by a whisker and we wait to see if they will repeat the feat.

Tse Tala have only managed secured 11 points from their 12 matches and they will have to do better in order to avoid their first ever axing from top flight football.

Majantja and Sefotha-fotha who were promoted at the start of the season are safe at this stage but they have to maintain the standards they displayed during the first round to be sure of their place in the top flight.

Veteran, Ntebele ‘Tata Mocholene’ Taole, has already returned to the dugout as LMPS coach after a long spell out of the game.

It will be interesting to see if Taole is the man to change the fortunes of the police side that has been blowing hot and cold this season.

Affectionately known as Simunye, LMPS have failed to live up to expectations despite boasting the like of Tšepo Seturumane who is one of the best players alongside seasoned defenders, Basia Makepe and Nkau Lerotholi.

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