Limpopo-based club Baroka FC have been dominating the headlines over the past few seasons. The rapid rise of the team has grabbed the attention of all those in football circles, and it's been amazing to see this club's incredible run in the Nedbank Cup, upsetting many high-profile teams along the way.
The team was formed in 2007, and were part of the SAFA Second Division Limpopo League. They played in that division until 2013, when they were promoted to the National First Division. There were already signs then that Baroka were a team to be reckoned with, having already taken part in the Nedbank Cup and beaten both Moroka Swallows and Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, performances that were an eye-opener for many football fans. The team were not stopping anytime soon and continued on their hunger for success.
Their first season in the NFD was rather fair for a newly-promoted team as they managed to secure fourth place. However, the following year, they slipped up, finishing the campaign in ninth position.
Taking the 2015/16 season into account, Baroka seem to have found a new leap of faith. The team are topping the charts and are having a great run in the Nedbank Cup, as they get ready to take on SuperSport United in the semi-final. Not too shabby, Bakgaga!
Kgoloko Thobejane's men are now on the verge of promotion to the Premier Soccer League. In almost nine seasons since the club's opened its doors, they have already climbed up two leagues (and maybe a third soon), what an achievement! There seems to be a mini Leicester City in South Africa, don't you think?
All credit must go to the club, not only the players but management as well as the coaching staff, for the amazing rise and entertainment Baroka continues to produce for us, the football spectators. And let's not forget the charismatic coach, Thobejane.
Some words on Baroka from Supporters Club editor, Nikolaos Kirkinis: "They truly are a welcome breath of fresh air. A team with charisma that plays attacking football like they mean it, at times they can pull off one-two’s clinical enough to fool you into thinking they have a European coach.
"They have also scored some screamers, in fact they have scored more goals in the NFD than any team in the PSL, aside from champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
"The coach is also a marvel in this environment of tight-lipped, red-taped football, with interviews that remind me of a lullaby. They not only play with confidence but they walk and talk it too.
"And the best thing is that there's nothing too fancy about them, not too much money, no imports. They are home-brewed, Limpopo's finest and attract bigger crowds than some PSL teams.
"I truly hope they shatter some giant hearts this season and next. I will throw my belief and weight behind these boys, they believe in themselves and aren't ashamed to show it, so why shouldn't we believe in them? Best of luck against Matsatsantsa."
Do you think Baroka will make it to the Nedbank final, and get promoted to the PSL?