Time for new faces to shine

2014-08-08 00:00

A New PSL season gets underway this evening, and there are a number of teams who will be backing themselves for the title. LLOYD BURNARD takes a brief look at how the 16 teams are shaping up ahead of the new campaign.


Coach: Gavin Hunt

Last season: 3rd

Gavin Hunt knows what it takes to win this league, and many are tipping his side to get even closer than they did last season. It is good for South African football that another side outside of the “big three” is making waves, but the title may be a step too far for the Clever Boys.


Coach: Roger de Sa

Last season: 12th

After a disappointing 2013/14

campaign, more will be expected

of Ajax now that they have the experience of Roger de Sa at the helm.

The problems are financial, and having lost MTN as a

title sponsor, the Cape-based side are likely to struggle once more to compete with the big names in the league.


Coach: Craig Rosslee

Last season: 9th

There are big ambitions at AmaZulu for a top four finish and a cup win, but they may be a little unrealistic. Rosslee has brought in 10 new faces, and he will need a good start to the season if he is to keep the board of directors satisfied that he is the right man for the job.


Coach: Clive Barker

Last season: 7th

Barker’s charges were phenomenal last season, securing a top eight finish in their first year back in the top flight.

He encourages carpet football and intelligent passing, and this is likely be the template once more. Another top half finish should be the aim.


Coach: Ernst Middendorp

Last season: 6th

You know it isn’t going to be pretty when Ernst is in charge. Expect Celtic to be a difficult side to break down, and expect lots of draws. Defensive structure is the order of the day, but how they perform at the other end of the pitch could determine the success of their season.


Coach: Kosta Papic

Last season: Promoted

It has been a crazy pre-season for Chippa after they claimed prematurely to have secured Steve Komphela as coach. They have also relocated to Port Elizabeth.

Chippa now surely need to show their faith in Papic if they are to stay up this season and shred their reputation as being impulsive, illogical decision makers.


Coach: Tom Saintfiet

Last season: 14th

Stars survived relegation with a win on the last day of last season, and there aim this time around will be to solidify their place in the PSL.

They now have a Belgian coach, and that foreign influence does have the potential to pose problems. They have signed a host of young, relatively unknown players.


Coach: Stuart Baxter

Last season: 2nd

Winning the league back from Sundowns will be the priority for Chiefs this season. They will

always have the players to do that. Chiefs are set for another busy season with CAF Champions League action awaiting them, should they decide to participate. Fans will expect silverware aplenty.


Coach: Pitso Mosimane

Last season: 1st

Last season’s champions appear to have bought half of the PSL’s players and they have sent a bunch out on loan. This means that a lot of sides won’t be able to field these players whenever they meet Sundowns. But that is the advantage of being a wealthy football club. Sundowns will surely be favourites to retain the title.


Coach: Steve Komphela

Last season: 10th

Perhaps their biggest signing this off-season was the signature of coach Steve Komphela. United have unveiled around 15 new faces, many of them joining from lower leagues and trials. A cash injection from the Msunduzi municipality will hopefully give Maritzburg the platform to challenge for a top eight place.


Coach: Zeca Marques

Last season: 13th

The once mighty Birds are

reportedly in a world of financial trouble, and this could be another season of struggle. Lucky Baloyi and Philani Cele arrive from Kaizer Chiefs to provide some much-needed

reinforcements as Swallows look to avoid any relegation scares.


Coach: Vladimir Vermezovic

Last season: 4th

Last season was simply unacceptable from a Pirates point of view. Fixture congestion saw them limp their way to fourth place, and Vermezovic will know more than anybody that Bucs have to deliver trophies this season. They have the players to match Chiefs and Sundowns, but do they have the consistency?


Coach: Allan Freese

Last season: 8th

The likeable Freese has turned Stars

into cup specialists and has made them a highly respected outfit. But they have lost their two main goal scorers in

Siphelele Mthembu and Henrico Botes, which will be a worry. Another top eight finish and more cup glory would be

considered a major success for Freese and Stars.


Coach: Boebie Solomons

Last season: 15th

Had to survive the playoffs to

secure PSL status lasts eason,

and that will be a road that they won’t want to go down again.

Have bought some experience in the form of Benson Mhlongo and Elias Ngwepe, but most of City’s signings come from the lower leagues. In for a struggle once more.


Coach: Cavin Johnson

Last season: 5th

Stuttered to a fifth place finish last term and whether or not Johnson can replicate the glory days of Gavin Hunt remains questionable. This is a big season for the coach,

who has been told by the board of directors to deliver trophies. Clayton Daniels, Michael Morton, Lerato Manzini and George Chigova have all joined the Pretoria outfit.


Coach: Steve Barker

Last season: 11th

Started last season like lightning but the rigours of PSL began to catch up with them. Consolidation will be key for Tuks now, who must avoid getting into a relegation scrap. Barker has landed Zimbabwean midfielder Denver Mukamba on loan from Wits, with Buhle Mkhwanazi moving in the opposite direction.

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