Kick Off - - Eds Letter - Mark Glee­son, Act­ing Editor

The KICK OFF Yearbook cel­e­brates a re­mark­able 21 years of pub­lish­ing with the lat­est edi­tion, hav­ing long estab­lished a role as an indispensible guide to the game in this coun­try. Its ar­rival on the shelves is much an­tic­i­pated and a sur­pris­ingly con­tentious is­sue. Tra­di­tion­ally the Yearbook is not pub­lished be­fore Oc­to­ber, but many ques­tion why a guide to the new sea­son is not ex­actly that – a pub­li­ca­tion that ap­pears ahead of the start of the new cam­paign. The rea­son is quite sim­ple. Any at­tempt to bring out a guide be­fore the first ball of the sea­son is kicked would be an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity. It would be out of date be­fore it was even off the print­ing presses! The fact that clubs are al­lowed to buy and sell play­ers un­til the end of Au­gust, a month af­ter the reg­u­lar start of the sea­son, means any Yearbook can only be pub­lished af­ter the close of the trans­fer win­dow. That is when the hard work be­gins, with just a hand­ful of weeks to col­late all the new in­for­ma­tion as PSL clubs reg­is­ter their play­ers and the al­limpor­tant jersey num­bers they will use for the sea­son. There is a lot of chas­ing of in­for­ma­tion be­fore the Yearbook goes to print. That, there­fore, is why the KICK OFF Yearbook for the 2016/17 sea­son only ap­peared on shelf in the last few weeks. It is a mon­u­men­tal un­der­tak­ing, co-or­di­nated with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion and largely com­piled by Nick Said. Many had been call­ing to ask when it would be pub­lished and, by now, will be pleased to have a copy in their hands. It is indispensible for the those in the in­dus­try and the mul­ti­tude of keen fol­low­ers of the lo­cal game. On top of all the in-depth in­for­ma­tion about the clubs and play­ers, there are sec­tions with last sea­son’s full sta­tis­tics, de­tail­ing all the com­pe­ti­tions played and all the na­tional team line­ups over the last 12 months. My favourite is also read­ing through the list, many long for­got­ten, of those who have played for Bafana Bafana since the first in­ter­na­tional in 1992.

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