Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thoughts: Orlando Pirates deserve a knighthood

After beating Esperance in the semis, there's just one more game
to go for the Buccaneers
Just one more game to go. Well, two – the Caf Champions League final is played over two legs.

Still, it should be a wonderful occasion and a great opportunity for Orlando Pirates. One can already imagine the Orlando Stadium for next weekend’s final first leg against Al Ahly – it should be a spectacular afternoon.

Pirates deserve tremendous credit. They have been amazing in this year’s Champions League and they have given credibility back to South African football on the African continent.

Pirates are also setting a new way for clubs in South Africa.

They are serious. Not haphazard, just going through the motions. They are bringing a new standard. They are competing in all competitions and they have their own stadium, the importance of which cannot be overstated.

Dr. Irvin Khoza has a vision for the club and has been working hard on it for several years. His determination and ambition are paying off.

Pirates are no ordinary club.

They have a super squad, genuine top-class players across the board, a growing culture of winning and a very passionate fan-base.

Roger de Sa also deserves credit. He has been on the receiving end of some undue criticism ever since his appointment as coach last September. But, a year into the job and he has done fantastic work.

Still, De Sa will be judged by trophies, and what better way to start than to add the second star.

Lioli may soon deserve a knighthood too

Happy times in TY...
Another team doing great things is Lioli. They are becoming the Real Madrid of Lesotho. Yesterday’s 4-1 win over Melele was their sixth in seven games, the only blot on their record this season being a 1-1 draw with Linare.

Looking at that result against Linare, and their loss (on penalties) to Bantu in the Independence Cup final, one could argue Lioli are yet to beat a top team this season. Even so, to this point no side has played with as much swagger as Tse Nala.

Like Pirates, Lioli have an ambitious president in Lebohang Thotanyana, a wonderful fan-base and an intimidating home fortress – all of which aren’t regular in Lesotho.

It is difficult not to envisage a period of Lioli domination for the next few seasons. After winning the league in May, Tse Nala immediately went on a strengthening spree in the off-season adding eight players. Two weeks ago they signed Likuena striker Tšepo Lekhoana, who was at South Africa’s Maluti FET College last season, on a free transfer. It is quite a squad they have in Teyateyaneng now.

Lioli’s credentials will be tested to the maximum, however, over the next two months. Tse Nala face Matlama, LMPS, LCS, Bantu and LDF in their next five games, a very difficult run of games. It is a period which will tell us a lot about Lioli, whether or not they really are the real deal.

Till then it is looking very good for Tse Nala.

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