Much ado about noth­ing in PSL

The on-off Absa Premier­ship is back af­ter a big break, only to usher in an­other re­cess, writes Ti­mothy Molobi

CityPress - - Sport -

A lot has hap­pened since the last round of Absa Premier­ship matches.

After some changes to clubs’ tech­ni­cal teams, one would be for­given for con­fus­ing the coaches on the bench.

Three coaches – Ser­ame Let­soaka, Clive Barker and Clin­ton Larsen – have left their clubs, while a fourth, Roger Sikhakhane, is sus­pended.

Let­soaka and Larsen have swapped places at Golden Ar­rows and Bloem­fontein Celtic.

Former FC Cape Town coach Dan Male­sela, who joined Chippa United as Sikhakhane’s as­sis­tant, has al­ready been el­e­vated to the top post af­ter the lat­ter was put on ice.

When the league re­sumes to­day, there will be new but old faces in the tech­ni­cal ar­eas. It’s a black Christ­mas for some and a joy­ful one for oth­ers.

Start­ing from to­day’s fix­ture be­tween Free State Stars and the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria, it is the sur­vival of the fittest, as coaches are fight­ing for their jobs.

AmaTuks coach Sammy Troughton has been skat­ing on thin ice for some time and an­other loss this af­ter­noon and next week to neigh­bours Su­perS­port United in a Tsh­wane derby could sig­nal the end for him.

New coaches will be in both dugouts in Port El­iz­a­beth when Male­sela leads Chippa against Let­soaka on the Celtic bench.

Let­soaka is now as­sisted by Dun­can Lech­esa af­ter the de­mo­tion of Lehlo­honolo Seema to the Celtic de­vel­op­ment side.

Another “new” coach, Larsen, will start his as­sign­ment at Ar­rows with a trip to Polok­wane City against new­comer Júlio César Leal.

Eric Tin­kler, whose fu­ture at Pi­rates has been the sub­ject of much spec­u­la­tion, will be hop­ing to en­ter the fes­tive break on a high with a vic­tory over high-rid­ing Mamelodi Sun­downs on Sun­day.

Another loss to a top side will not go down well with Pi­rates sup­port­ers – they want to move up from 11th on the log.

With no more con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion to fo­cus on, Tin­kler’s charges should be able to chan­nel their ef­forts into the league pro­gramme.

For a change, the Buc­ca­neers have had a two-week rest af­ter their loss to Étoile du Sa­hel a fort­night ago. They should be fresh to face a Sun­downs side that con­tested the Telkom Knock­out fi­nal on Wed­nes­day.

Pi­rates have not had the best of starts – los­ing four of their nine matches.

Sun­downs, on the other hand, have been on a roll, win­ning six of their seven

Free State Stars vs Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria (Goble Park, 3.30pm)

Chippa United vs Bloem­fontein Celtic (Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium, 8pm)

Golden Ar­rows vs Polok­wane City (Chatsworth Sta­dium, 3.30pm); Free State Stars vs Jomo Cos­mos (Goble Park, 3.30pm); Kaizer Chiefs vs Bid­vest Wits (Cape Town Sta­dium, 6pm); Black Aces vs Ajax Cape Town (Mbombela Sta­dium, 8.15pm)

Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria vs Su­perS­port United (Tuks Sta­dium, 3.30pm); Mamelodi Sun­downs vs Or­lando Pi­rates (Lof­tus Sta­dium, 3.30pm); Plat­inum Stars vs Mar­itzburg United (Royal Bafo­keng Sta­dium, 3.30pm)




league games. Their last loss was in Septem­ber, when they went down to Golden Ar­rows.

Another in­ter­est­ing bat­tle will be at Cape Town Sta­dium, where new lodgers Kaizer Chiefs will be hop­ing to stop log lead­ers Bid­vest Wits in their tracks.

This will be Chiefs’ first game at their al­ter­na­tive home venue.

Joint lead­ing top scorer Collins Mbe­suma will be look­ing to add to his six goals when Mpumalanga Black Aces host Ajax Cape Town at Mbombela Sta­dium on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

The Zam­bian striker has been in good scor­ing form, along with his fel­low goalchart top­per, Free State Stars’ An­dréa Filec­cia.

After this week­end’s round of fix­tures the league will break yet again for the fes­tive sea­son and re­sume in the sec­ond week of the new year.


GOAL POACHER Collins Mbe­suma is back to his scor­ing ways


ON FORM An­dréa Filec­cia has net­ted six times for Free State Stars in the league

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