Time for KZN football to rise from the ashes

Wayde Jooste (Gallo Images)
Wayde Jooste (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - No child born at the turn of the century will believe that a KwaZulu-Natal team won the inaugural Premiership title in the 1996/97 season.

Manning Rangers, under the tutelage of Gordon Igesund, took South Africa by storm and won the title that season. However, the KwaZulu-Natal football fan has endured two decades of absolute misery since then.

The province's best prospect at the moment was promoted to the Premiership three seasons after that Ranger success. However, Golden Arrows hasn't quite managed to complete that transition into a title-challenging team since being promoted.

Arrows are just one point outside the top eight at this juncture, but players are starting to develop the hunger required to make that major leap towards the top of the pack.

Among them is midfielder Wayde Jooste, who believes more than ever.

The province's other two teams - Maritzburg United and AmaZulu - are struggling at the minute, even though the former finished fourth last season.

"This thing of having to fight for top eight every season needs to change," Jooste told KickOff Sunday.

"I believe KZN deserves to have a club that will challenge like we saw last season [Maritzburg], and Arrows can definitely do that as well. We have a lot of talented players to compete," added Jooste.

The first step towards solving a problem is realising what it is. There is an acknowledgement from Jooste that some things will need to change before Arrows can make that leap forward.

"We haven't been doing as well as we wanted to. Too many unnecessary draws and the position we are in is not good enough for a club like Arrows. We have to fight," added Jooste.

Arrows did beat Kaizer Chiefs in their most recent Premiership fixture. If anything, that will do the team's confidence the world of confidence in what are still trying circumstances. Jooste thinks the mindset is changing sufficiently within the group though.

"Beating Chiefs is what we needed to remind ourselves that we are the best, and we can win more big games any time as long as we put in our A game."

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