South African Premier Soccer League 101 (Franjo: A Journeyman Story – Mini-sode 76.5)

It’s time to meet the 16 sides that make up the South African Premier Soccer League.

< Episode 76

Here we go then. We’ve met some of our new players, we’ve met my new assistant Keith, and now it’s time to meet the 16 sides that make up the South African Premier Soccer League.

1 act

Ajax Cape Town

From: Cape Town

Ground: Cape Town Stadium

Last Season: 9th

Predicted: 6th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Cape Town City (Fierce, Local), Santos FC (Fierce, Local), Kaizer Chiefs (Competitive), Orlando Pirates (Competitive)

2 celt

Bloemfontein Celtic

From: Bloemfontein

Ground: Dr. Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium

Last Season: 12th

Predicted: 8th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

3

Cape Town City Football Club

From: Cape Town

Ground: Cape Town Stadium

Last Season: 5th

Predicted: 7th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Ajax CT (Fierce, Local), Santos FC (Local)

4

Chippa United Football Club

From: Port Elizabeth

Ground: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Last Season: 8th

Predicted: 11th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

5

Golden Arrows Football Club

From: Durban

Ground: King Zwelithini Stadium

Last Season: 10th

Predicted: 10th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

6

Highlands Park

From: Johannesburg

Ground: Highlands Park Stadium

Last Season: 11th

Predicted: 15th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

7

Kaizer Chiefs Football Club

From: Soweto

Ground: FNB Stadium

Last Season: 2nd

Predicted: 1st

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Orlando Pirates (Fierce), Sundowns, Supersport United, Ajax CT

8

Maritzburg United

From: Pietermaritzburg

Ground: Harry Gwala Stadium

Last Season: 7th

Predicted: 9th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Golden Arrows

9

Mthatha Bucks Football Club

From: Pietermaritzburg

Ground: Harry Gwala Stadium

Last Season: Champions in and promoted from the South African National First Division

Predicted: 13th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

10

Orlando Pirates

From: Johannesburg

Ground: Orlando Stadium

Last Season: Champions

Predicted: 3rd

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Kaizer Chiefs (Fierce)

11

Polokwane City Football Club

From: Polokwane

Ground: Peter Mokaba Stadium

Last Season: 14th

Predicted: 14th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

12

Santos Football Club

From: Lansdowne (Cape Town)

Ground: Athlone Stadium

Last Season: 13th

Predicted: 12th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Ajax CT (Fierce)

13

Mamelodi Sundowns

From: Pretoria

Ground: Loftus Versfield

Last Season: 3rd

Predicted: 2nd

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Supersport United (Fierce), Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs

14

SuperSport United

From: Pretoria

Ground: Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium

Last Season: 4th

Predicted: 5th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Sundowns (Fierce), Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates

15

Thanda Royal Zulu FC

From: Richards Bay

Ground: Umhlathuze Central Sports Complex

Last Season: 3rd, promoted from the South African National First Division

Predicted: 16th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: N/A

16

Bidvest Wits

From: Johannesburg

Ground: Bidvest Stadium

Last Season: 6th

Predicted: 4th

Rivals in the Premier Soccer League: Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Supersport United, Sundowns

So the good news is that after surviving the Portuguese Championship and the Lotto Ekstraklasa where the Leagues started splitting up and going into little mini-leagues, the PSL is actually pretty straightforward. 16 teams play each other twice, so 30 games in all. The top 2 in the League qualify for the African Champions League Preliminary Round, the 3rd and 4th placed sides qualify for the African Confederation Cup, depending on who wins the SA Cup, and the bottom team is relegated. I mean, yes the team that finishes 2nd bottom goes into a play-off mini-league with the 2nd and 3rd placed sides from the 2nd tier, but still. Overall it’s quite a straightforward system.

And I actually feel pretty good about this league. Am I wrong? Am I just naive, or does this feel OK? The board expect us to stay clear of a relegation scrap. Santos have had 2 solid seasons back in the top flight, and that was without me! Under the guidance now of a practically never relegated Manager like me, I feel like this club can not only avoid the drop but really push on up the League.

And the other thing is that if we can push towards the upper echelons of the league, it actually looks pretty open. Kaizer Chiefs won it in 2017 with Supersport United, Sundowns and Ajax CT well behind them, then they won it again with Sundowns, Supersport United and Orlando Pirates chasing, and then last year Orlando Pirates won it, closely followed by Kaizer Chiefs, Sundowns and Supersport United. There seems to be a fair bit of fluctuation up there. Ajax CT have plummeted down to 9th place in the last 2 years, while Orlando Pirates finished 6th and 4th before winning the league. If you ask me, there’s room for anyone to break into the top 4 club, and I don’t see why it can’t be us. Eventually.

Episode 77 >

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Author: wtfranjo

My name is Franjo. And I will be a Football Manager.

2 thoughts on “South African Premier Soccer League 101 (Franjo: A Journeyman Story – Mini-sode 76.5)”

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