You know the joke about the old aunt who keeps threatening you with the shackles of marriage by saying, “you are next” – each time she sees you at a wedding? Well if you don’t know the joke, the punch-line ends with some advice. Basically the joke says that you should wait for her at the next funeral and then say, “you are next.” I suspect the people at Maritzburg United FC feel like the old Aunt would feel.
The 2014/15 season is laden with volumes of records that were broken. Suffice to say, it was an incredibly weird season. When the longest serving coach at a single club is a Kaizer Chiefs FC coach, then you know that it is a weird season. Think about it, I never thought I would live to see the day when SuperSport United FC and AmaTuks FC change coach mid-season – but it happened this season.
My good friend Joe Crann from @SocccerLaduma said it well – not only did the Glamour Boys collect the largest points tally in PSL (16 team) history with 69 points; which happens to be the highest points conversion ratio of 76.67%. They also managed to register the largest point gap to the team in second place (12), with the most clean sheets and longest unbeaten run (19).
But as some celebrate, and some weep spare a thought for the two of the oldest clubs in South Africa, currently sitting at number 15 and 16. Many may not realise, that when the final whistle blew Moroka Swallows FC became only the third Gauteng based team since 2000/1 season to find themselves in the relegation zone. This is after Jomo Cosmos FC (2011/12, 2007/08) and the old Wits University in 2004/05 season. And people still do not think travel fatigue is a factor in the PSL – *SMH*.
Last year in a post-season analysis interview with Motsweding FM’s Cebo Manyapelo on @Mamepe728, my parting shot was that if Chipa United FC are going to establish a base in Port Elizabeth, then they will not last two seasons in the PSL. My prediction almost came true. But for the sake of the people of PE who love their football, I am actually glad that it didn’t. Fortunately they live to see another season.
Spare a thought for the men at Orlando Pirates FC and Free State Stars FC. Some spoilt brats might think for the Ghost to play one cup final in a season is an atrocious performance. But the reality is to have lost one of your own and still put up such strong finish is nothing short of buccaneering.
Spare a thought for Pitso Mosimane and his charges, who go back to their barracks bearing the unenviable label of being the first generation of players in PSL history who play for a Tshwane team to have won the title and then failed to defend it at least once.
Spare a thought for the Steve Barker and his charges for the gallant effort they put up. Ja, my heart goes out to them. The fighting spirit they showed is exactly what the PSL is all about. They left it all on the pitch. They gave it horns, alas horns were not enough.
As half of the nation blows vuvuzela’s in jubilation, you can imagine the Motaung’s giving thanks at the dinner table. While you imagine that, spare a thought for the mournful air of despair hanging over the Sokhela household.
Just a thought
The tempest prognosticator
Themba A. Dikgale