The period between June and July is generally a ‘punishment’ of sorts for those who subscribe to the football persuasion. This is because it is during this period that most leagues around the world are in their well deserved recess. But in the past recess, South Africans were treated to an enticement of what will transpire, on a grander scale in next year’s FIFA World Cup, when the Confederations Cup took place. The month of August is anticipated with the sweetest alacrity because is it the said August that turfs are trimmed, supporters renew their rivalries and teams prepare for what will be another round of heart ache, glory, and the condemnation and crowing of teams. And the forth coming 2009\10 Season will in many respects be a history making experience for South African football. After all it is the same season in which the world, particularly the football community, will be drawn to the vortex of the FIFA World Cup.
The season kicks of with the most lucrative knockout torment in Africa – the Mtn8 Wafa Wafa Cup. A tournament which pits the top 8 finishers of the 2008\09 season against each other in a winner takes all( literally) because the eventual winners receive a neatly packaged 8million, while the other 7 teams each get 800 000 for participation. Defending champions Kaizer Chiefs will take on Roger De Sa’s Bidvest Wits, while Ajax Cape Town will square off with Orlando Pirates, ironically the last time Pirates won a cup was against the Ajax in 2000 when the tournament was still called the BP Top 8. League champions, Supersport United will battle in out with the all improved Amazulu, who haven’t won a cup since 1992 when they beat Chiefs in the Coca Cola Cup. And the last fixture sees the silky playing Golden Arrow slugging it out with Free State Stars for a place in the semis.
The league will commence on the weekend and this will the most energy taxing campaign in a long time because the teams will be required to play 3 games a week. That decision was taken in order to accommodate the national team’s preparatory camps needed before the world cup in June. By February the league will, if things go according to schedule, close. The Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup will be staged after the league fixtures have been exhausted. This means that the respective tournaments will be played between April and May. With Ajax and Moroka Swallows being the defending teams respectively. As far as league winners is concerned, certain football scribes and experts have tipped it to be a two horse race in Pirates, who lost the league on goal difference in the previous campaign, and Supersport. But others have cautioned that judging by pre season football, the like of Chiefs can not be discounted from assaulting a challenge for league honours this season. The league title has been in the capital city – Pretoria- for the past four season, with mining mogul Patrice Motsepe’s Mamelodi Sundowns having taken it in the 05\06 and 06\07 and the Supersport, their city rival winning the last two campaigns.
This season also sees the return of Jomo Cosmos and Mpumalanga Aces to top fight soccer. More so for Aces because their return has insured that the soccer loving people of Mpumalanga will be represented in the league in the season of the world cup and that should be a booster especially since Mbombela is one of the host cities.
Any team that wants to market itself effective, this forth coming season is the greatest chance to do so in. A team which wins the league this season will receive unrivaled world coverage by virtue of soccer scribes around the globe trying to understand who is who in SA soccer. And win the ‘bread and better’ of soccer – the league- will go a long way in cementing a view that the particular team’s name resounds for a while.
So, here we go once more. Fasten your seat belts for an epoch of a season. Buy your tickets to league matches and other tournaments on time and let the world know what soccer means to the people of this creative and fanatical nation. Vuvuzeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!