Battle to start for ABC Motsepe

2016-05-11 06:00
THE team of Dla2 FC is the winners of the Thabo Mofutsanyana Regional League and is the hot favourites to win the provincial play-offs. Photos: Supplied

THE team of Dla2 FC is the winners of the Thabo Mofutsanyana Regional League and is the hot favourites to win the provincial play-offs. Photos: Supplied

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – A battle for a place in the South African Football Association’s (Safa) second tier, the ABC Motsepe League, starts on Friday (13/05) in Qwaqwa.

The five winners of the Safa Regional Leagues in the Free State will then fight for the championship at this year’s SAB provincial play-offs.

All five regions in the Free State will be represented in the play-offs by their respective winners.

The teams that have qualified for the play-offs are Beatrix Umlilo FC (Lejweleputswa), Kovsies (Mangaung Metro), Lijabatho (Fezile Dabi), Young Lions FC (Xhariep) and the host Dla2 FC of the Thabo Mofutsanyana district.

Only two teams, those who finish first and second, will advance to the next league.

The winner of the Thabo Mofutsanyana region, Dla2 FC from Qwaqwa, are the hot favourites to win the contest.

Besides their home advantage of playing at their Bluegumbosch and Phuthaditjhaba Stadiums, Dla2 is the only outfit among the five that has a previous play-offs advantage.

The other four teams would be playing in the play-offs for the first time, but they are coming with the same mission of securing the spot in the ABC Motsepe League.

The play-offs will kick off with the game between Umlilo against Dla2 and Kovsies playing Lijabatho.

Both games will kick off at 15:00. The first game will be played at the Bluegumbosch Stadium and the second in Phuthaditjhaba.

  • The final games are expected on Sunday (15/05) where the presentation will be done. Dla2 FC was bought from Vaaldam FC from Monontsha, Qwaqwa, in 2011. At that time the team was playing in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Football Association. The team later bought SAB Regional League status.

In 2012-’13, Dla2 qualified for the SAB Provincial play-offs but finished third. Since then, the team struggled to make a cut in the play-offs with Dikwena United FC.

United was promoted last season after they had finished second after Monaco Milan, the current ABC Motsepe champions in the Free State.

This season Dla2 stole the league trophy from Mighty Wits from Bethlehem who were on top of the log table for a better part of the season.

Thabo Dladla, the owner of Dla2, said he was happy that his team had again ma-naged to qualify for the play-offs. He said they had been at that stage before and added that they knew what was required to book a space in the next league.

  • “I can bravely tell that we will go there and win the play-offs, come Sunday,” he said. Young Lions FC was formed in 1998. The team played in the Lejweleputswa LFA for two years before they bought SAB League status in 2000. In the 2004-’05 season, the team finished top in the A-stream, but went on to lose at the inter-regional play-offs losing to Roots FC on penalties.

For the first time since the team had been formed, they would be faced with the challenge of playing in the provincial play-offs. Lions would be the first in their region to play in the ABC Motsepe should they qualify.

Rabi Platjie, the owner of the team, is adamant that his boys would make him proud and qualify for the ABC Motsepe League.

“I don’t want to put pressure on my boys because it will be the first time that they find themselves in this situation.

  • “Winning the trophy would just be the butter on the bread, but I will be happy to finish second because that is an automatic promotion,” he said. Beatrix Umlilo FC was formed in 2008. Since then the team has played gambling games. The team bought SAB league status in 2011-’12 from the Monyakeng Academy FC.

In the 2012-’13 season they finished second after Real Hearts FC with three points separating the two. The team has managed to build up from the last year’s season when they finished second and this year they won the league.

Siso Sokone, the team manager, is adamant that they would win the play-offs regardless of their first appearance.

  • “We have young boys who are hungry for success. I am sure that they don’t want to play in the SAB League again,” he said. Lijabatho FC was formed in 1959. The team was, however, depleted and it was regrouped in 2008. They played in the Moqhaka LFA and they were promoted in the 2009-’10 season. They played in the SAB League before becoming the champions of the Lejweleputswa region.

Papi Nguce, the owner of the team, said he was proud of his boys. He said he could not wait for Sunday to celebrate their promotion to the ABC Motsepe League. It is the first time that the team has qualified for the provincial play-offs.

“I know the boys would fight until the last day. They have done it in the league. Why not in the play-offs?

  • The advantage we have coming to these games is that we are a closed book to the opponents. So by the time they spot our secret, we would be gone,” he said. They appear to be the first team in the play-offs to have gained straight promotion, without having to buy statuses. Kovsies is the fifth team that will be involved in the contact. Express Eastern Free State could not get hold of the management of the team to get their information as the phone was switched off.


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