The league title is for Bantu to lose

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Mikia Kalati

A COMPREHENSIVE 4-2 demolition of Linare on Saturday and a stumble by Matlama enabled Bantu to maintain a healthy seven point lead at the top of the Econet Premier League.

High-riding Matlama who have impressed in the second round were brought crashing down to mother earth by relegation-haunted Likhopo on Sunday and in the process, they were overtaken by former champions, Lioli, in second place.

It seems that Bantu are beginning to run away but for the connoisseurs of the beautiful game, that is not a welcome development and it would be a good thing if their closest challengers, Lioli and Matlama, can find some consistency to take the race to the wire.

We have to go back almost a decade for Matlama’s last title and this should not be acceptable for a team of their standing as the most successful club in the Mountain Kingdom.

The players have a rich club history to defend and it is by pushing Bantu and Lioli all the way that they can earn the right to wear the famous blue and white strip.

As for Lioli, their supporters appear to be struggling to come to terms with the fact that the club is in a transition period which began with the appointment of South African, Morena Ramoreboli, as coach in January this year.

Ramoreboli carries the burden of expectations on his shoulders after years of working with teams such as Bloemfontein Celtic and Maluti FET College in his native country.

But it may take a while for him time to turn Tse Nala into the dominant force they were a few years ago- time which the Lioli fans may not be willing to give as supporters of big clubs the world over are known to want instant results.

Upon his arrival at the club, Ramoreboli, immediately made changes by ditching long serving players such as Mohau Kuenane and Motlalepula Mofolo.

These changes were not welcomed by some members of the club but there is a point when such decisions have to be made because clubs and players cannot live on past reputations and glory.

One thing for sure is that these players’ best years were finally behind them and something had to give.

The fact that Ramoreboli won his first match on Sunday at the fourth time of asking, speaks volumes of the task that lies ahead of him.

While there is need for patience on the part of the fans and management, Ramoreboli, must however, not slacken but put out a competitive side that will give Bantu a run for their money because it is good for our football when the top teams engage in riveting contests for honours.

Having said that, I think the league title is Bantu’s to lose as they proved with their convincing win over Linare which only served to confirm that they have been the best team so far this season.

Of course A Matšo Matabele, were recently given a football lecture by Mbabane Swallows in the CAF Champions League but the domestic league has been a stroll for them.

This dismal continental showing could have been the result of their complacency stemming from the lack of serious challengers on the domestic front.

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