Leopards is aiming to win the play off mini league
Black Leopards look set to become Limpopo’s third Absa Premier League side if they collect enough points in the upcoming promotion play-offs.
The side from Thohoyandou looked like a team ready for the big time in their last NFD game where they beat Jomo Cosmos 3-0 before their vociferous fans in the far north.
They now await the outcome of this weekend’s PSL final fixtures to determine who joins Leopards and Cosmos in the play offs.
Limpopo sides Baroka and Polokwane City are in danger of dropping into the play-off spot but Leopards coach Joel Masutha hopes this doesn’t become the case.
Leopard’s is the only Limpopo side playing in the tournament and could be the third Limpopo addition into the PSL if they win the Play-offs after Polokwane City and Baroka FC.
“I’d rather not face our fellow Limpopo teams in the play-offs. It would be nice to be the third edition into the PSL representing Limpopo.”
Lidoda Duvha produced a stunning second half display of attacking football to hammer Cosmos 3-0 and surpass them to cement second position. Leopards are vying for the mini-league for the fifth consecutive time after having failed four times to gain promotion through the play-offs.
“These boys have given me a lot so I’m expecting the same fighting spirit that they have given during the league matches. These are the same crop of players that played last year,” the mentor said.
“We are going into the PSL this time around. The boys have the most valuable play-off experience than the other teams and can definitely handle the pressure.”
Masutha said that although they had beaten Cosmos in the weekend. They had to be weary of them as they would come back stronger.
“We have beaten them but that does not mean that it’s automatic to beat them again. They will come back better prepared but I believe in my boys. It’s a case of 11 against 11 really.” The mentor further emphasized the importance of experience in this season instalment of the play-off berth saying that he had been part of the tournament eight times.
“I have been involved with the play-offs when it was still four teams participating. I was the goalkeeper for Leopards in 1995 when we qualified and played against Santos, Tembisa Classic and African Wanderers. I have been in the competition three times as a player and five times as an assistant coach. That should count for something” he said confidently.
Masutha also said that he will maintain the same team that beat Cosmos but will let go of the under 23 players who are called to country duty.
“We don’t have a big squad. We make little changes here and there to adapt for the tournament. These four games can determine these boys’ lives and they know that. They know that they could have done better in the first round of the campaign. We only accumulated 18 points in the first round and 32 in the second but that’s what made all the difference.” Masutha also pleaded with the Limpopo football lovers to go out and support the only team that is representing the province.“We ask all the people of Limpopo to come out and support us,” he said. - Mukurukuru Media.