In this week’s SportPesa Clubhouse column, ambassador Doctor Khumalo highlighted the first half of the PSL season and made reference to Cape Town City winning the MTN8 title and Baroka beating favourites Orlando Pirates to claim their maiden cup title by getting their hands on the Telkom Knockout cup.
The Kaizer Chiefs legend went on to talk about the league and the fight for the number one spot as he also pointed out a few clubs that should not be ruled out for the championship.
“On the flip side, you have Pirates who lost to Baroka in the final but have managed to maintain their number one spot in the league for a long time until last weekend when Bidvest Wits beat the same Baroka 2-1. Pirates have been one of the most consistent teams in the league while everyone below them has been going up and down on the log standings. What they’ve managed to do is not easy, by any means, and they deserve credit for that. Like I said in one of my previous columns, we are getting to a stage where we can do a proper review of the season so far. We only have the Nedbank Cup and the league championship to play for now before the end of the season. The championship is the one I find more interesting because of the three phases that are so demanding – the chasing pack, the battle for the Top Eight positions and fighting relegation. Everyone wants to win the league and finish in the Top Eight so that they can generate income from the first trophy of the season. Football is entertainment, but don’t forget about the business side of it because winning trophies means more money in the bank for the team and the players. So what’s the point of playing in the league when you don’t qualify to earn money from tournaments like the MTN8? The reality is that not everyone will win the league title, but if you still struggle to participate in the MTN8, then you know that you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the league teams.
“The Absa Premiership is doing all they can to level the playing fields so that everyone can generate some income. They have introduced the Q-Innovation which can be won by anyone and that’s there to enhance the teams’ financial muscles and there’s also the PSL awards which can also supplement the players’ income. There’s so much to play for, but it seems like some people aren’t even aware of these things. You don’t see that hunger at all. I mean, how many players start the season with a clear intention of collecting more awards at the end of the season than anyone else? When was the last time we had one player dominating the PSL awards for more than two years on the trot? Can you imagine how much your life and that of your family could change if you took your football up a notch or two? That’s the bigger picture the boys need to look at. Imagine targeting to be the Footballer and Players’ Player of the Season for the next three seasons. How much would you have made after your third season? Remember there are club incentives as well as from the tournaments, which ultimately qualify you to be considered for the awards I mentioned from the league. So there’s so much to play for.”
To check out the full SportPesa Clubhouse column, get yourself a copy of Soccer Laduma, issue 1104 at your nearest outlets now!