With the beMOBILE premier league defending champions Township Rollers slowly losing their form in the league, Centre Chiefs have been provided an opportunity to go top of the log. The Kgatleng side is now adamant they will increase their one point lead and keep the top spot to win the league this year to make up of the disappointing performance last season.
Magosi finished fourth in the 2013/2014 season with Rollers snatching the championship. The team is now hungry for silverware, having won it last in the 2012/2013 season. Chiefs’ chairman Raymond Tsheko said his team is aiming at increasing the lead between them and Rollers to make sure that they become champions this season.
Tsheko said the campaign is starting afresh this weekend with a win over BR Highlanders and they will take it from there. “We are winning this weekend and we will continue from there to collect points for the championship, said Tsheko.
Centre Chiefs’ chances to extend their lead are boosted by the fact that their immediate rivals Rollers and BDF XI are now engaged in the CAF championships. This means they will not be playing in the league this weekend and again in a fortnight.
The two championship challenging teams will also stay other weeks without playing in the beMOBILE as they will be participating again in the Mascom Top 8 semi-finals. During this time Chiefs will have it at easy to increase their lead. Their chairman believes they have a strong team that can win the league just like in the past seasons.
A win over the weekend will see Magosi extend their lead at the top of the log to four points ahead of second placed Rollers. The defending champions will then have to up their socks to keep up with Magosi. Some Centre Chiefs fans say the CAF participation will strain their competitors’ players giving them a better chance to win the league.
Sports analysts, however, see this otherwise. They feel this is not a guarantee for Chiefs to run away win the league title while Rollers and BDF XI are still engaged in other competitions. They say this is rather a tricky situation for the Kgatleng side. Fabian Zulu said this situation will only create more pressure on Centre Chiefs as they will be looking to increase their lead by all means while Rollers and BDF XI are away.
“It is a plus or minus for Centre Chiefs because it is not that every team will be donating points easily. They always perform badly against smaller teams because every team that plays against Chiefs put in all the effort. On paper yes you may say they have quality players to achieve this but it depends on the character of the players towards each game they play. If they can have the right attitude yes they may take advantage of this but it if not they will lose it out,” explained Zulu.
The former Notwane player said participating in CAF can work as an advantage for Rollers and BDF XI. “They are getting experience as they play some African countries and this can make them stronger than local teams and it will be easy for them to win locally,” said Zulu.
Another sport analyst Benjamin Radimo concurred with Zulu about the experience the players get when participating at CAF. He also pointed that it could be a good thing to motivate players but he warned that it can also demoralise the players especially if they get bad results. “If Rollers lose by a disappointing margin this can destroy their morale even in the local league, especially if they find the margin between them and Chiefs too wide,” he said.
Radimo tipped Centre Chiefs to extend their lead, saying they are capable of maintaining it. According to him, the team has experienced players who have tasted the championship and know how to protect the lead when they have it. The analyst said should Chiefs widen their margin Rollers will find it difficult to catch up with them at the top.
However, with 11 games remaining, the championship is still wide open and all the three teams at the top stand a chance win the title.