20 seasons and counting
Welcome to the 20th Edition of the annual SA soccer bible, the KICK Offyearbook. Launched to mark the start of the Premier Soccer League in 1996, we are proud that, just like the League itself, we have stood the test of time and remain relevant, vibrant and strong.
All your regular favourites are present and correct, making this the most detailed, comprehensive and trustworthy collection of facts and statistics pertaining to South African football.
As we survey the early weeks of the 2015/16 season, a few noteworthy remarks:
After the dominance of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns over the past few seasons, perhaps the ‘Big Three’ will not have it all their own way in 2015/16. For various reasons, all three have made a slow start to the new campaign and it looks as though this may be a much more open title race than we are used to seeing.
The fact that clubs like Bidvest Wits and Supersport United have looked to the international market shows their ability to attract ‘international’ players, another sign that the dominance of the Big Three is being challenged.
It also suggests, however, that some clubs have made a conscious decision to move away from the local market due to inflated transfer fees.
As you page through this Yearbook, you will notice more free agent moves and loan transfers than previously; a trend which we suggest will continue due to broader economic pressures besides the inflated nature of the internal player market.
The relegation of two established ‘grand old clubs,’ Moroka Swallows and Amazulu also points to shifts in the status quo, and serves as a warning that no club, no matter how famous has the right to success, or even top-flight survival.
It is also a reminder to clubs of the importance of finding the right balance between outlay and income; and of the need to build a balanced playing squad too.
Look on page 25 for the player stats of that most successful of clubs Kaizer Chiefs (see pages 68 and 70).You will notice how many of their players have played in excess of 150 matches.this experience is balanced with a younger crop (too many oldies, or too many kids, and you end up in Swallows’ position).
The Multichoice Diski Challenge (see pages 44-47) has been a great step forward, providing a genuinely competitive reserve league where Premiership clubs can groom their next generation.
We thank Multichoice for their generous sponsorship of this edition of theyearbook, and laud their contribution to the ongoing development and success of our football.