Every new season brings with it new stars. Some take time to find their feet while others shine from the word go. Tshepang Mailwane looks at ten who impressed in their first game during last week's kick-off.
The Zambian is the kind of player you'd expect to be plying his trade abroad. But Mulenga opted to join BIDVest Wits from AmaTuks instead. And he might well prove to be their best signing yet. He was inspirational in Wits' 2-0 win over Santos and rightly walked away with the Man of the Match award. Blessed with a delightful left foot, he showed just why he was named African Young Footballer of the Year award at the beginning of the year. He was as busy as a bee making play for Wits and creating chances for the strikers up front. Most impressive was the confidence with which he took players on. But many will forever remember that thunderous striker from range which rattled the crossbar.
Strikers from the Ivory Coast have come and gone in the past with very few making a lasting impression on the South African football scene. So it was not surprising that there was little excitement when Maritzburg United acquired the services of Brice Aka. The player was virtually unknown when he was brought in by the club and probably still is. But his obscurity shouldn't last long. His performance in his first PSL game against Ajax Cape Town was breathtaking, and included the equalising goal that earned Maritzburg a valuable point away from home. Gordon Igesund has certainly found a gem in the Ivorian striker.
If what we saw from this player in his first game is anything to go by, then expect to see him knocking regularly at the door for a place in the Bafana Bafana set up, although one feels that age is not on his side.
The 29-year-old right-back became the first player yet from Bay United to score a goal in the PSL and added to that a solid display in defence. He kept Swallows left winger Ryan Botha in check for the better part of the game. And he was not just good defensively for he troubled Edward Malinga whenever he made the foray into the opposition half. His combination with teammate Luntu Mazana down the right is one that is sure to be feared as the season progresses.
Losing the opening match to unfancied Thanda Royal Zulu made a mockery of Amakhosi's intentions of winning the league. And it naturally left Muhsin Ertugral seething. But the fiery coach would no doubt have been impressed by the performance of defender Gordon Gilbert. No doubt those who were wondering if the former Mpumalanga Aces player was really Amakhosi material got their answer last weekend. Gilbert dished up a fine performance and even though it it was not enough to see Amakhosi salvage any home points, the fact he won Man of the Match was evidence of the starring role he played.
Much of the pre-season excitement surrounded players that joined the "big clubs," or rather, the players who managed to get themselves "sweet deals", and not much was said about others. But as they say, the talking is done on the field of play and Morgan Shivambu is certainly doing so for Swallows, the club he joined from National First Division side Winners Park.
He played for Swallows in the MTN 8, but the game against Bay United was his first official Absa Premier League game. And although his team did not raise the roof on the day, he took it upon himself to find a way back for the club after they were a goal down. He was named Man of the Match.
The departure of Siboniso Gaxa to Mamelodi Sundowns may have given Gavin Hunt a few concerns. But it was probably a blessing in disguise as this opened the door for Davis Nkausu, the Zambian player signed from AmaTuks in the National First Division during the close season.
He was inspirational against Free State Stars in the defending champions' narrow victory last weekend, showing signs of being a quality player, and is certainly most likely to continue to do so as the season progresses.
Nkausu has already made the right-back position his own in just a short space of time after great performances during the pre-season games that SuperSport played.
Wellington Sambu and Kabamba Chintu left the club last season and it raised questions as to who would fill the central defence role alongside hardworking defender Sipho Nkosi.
In came Ghanaian defender Jonathan Mensah, who was signed on by former coach David Duncan, and all the worries became a thing of the past.
He combined well with Nkosi in the heart of the Stars defence against SuperSport, but the club were just unlucky to lose out on a penalty in the game in which their new player was making his PSL debut. He featured in a number of pre-season games ahead of the start of the league season.
Lizo Genu may have been the shining star in the Bay United side against Swallows, but there was another player who deserved to get some recognition for his performance.
As a young player, it's not usually easy to find your feet in the Premiership, but Ebongue showed nerves of steel in his first game as he ran tirelessly down the left wing, creating opportunities for his team-mates and getting stuck into tackles that kept Cecil Oerson quiet throughout the game.
The 21-year-old left-back played a key role in the side's rise to the Absa Premiership last season and he will once again be a force in the club as they look to survive in their first season in the elite league.
Another Cameroonian anchorman has joined the Urban Warriors. And just like his compatriot Enoh Eyong, Eric Bisser is proving a quality acquisition for the club.
He played in a few of Ajax's pre-season games in the absence of Eyong, who has since joined Ajax Amsterdam, and did not look out of place. The manner in which he dictated terms in the middle of the park would have convinced Ajax they had an able replacement for Eyong.
He provided the same performance against Maritzburg United in his debut PSL game, breaking down the opposition attacks with well-timed tackles that are sure to earn him a lot of respect.
Roger De Sa's Clever Boys side were fantastic all round against Santos. And among those who shone was rightback Patrick Phungwayo. A product of from Jazzy Queen Legodi's Africa Sports Academy, the lad from Alexandra looked like a seasoned professional on his first day (night) out with the big boys.
He tackled hard and well; initiated attacks from the back and sent in some useful crosses into the opposition box. He impressively recovered from his forward forays to take his place in defence as he helped Wits to a stunning 2-0 victory that sees them top the Premiership standings after match day one.
De Sa has declared that he is going to unleash a younger and more exciting Wits side this season and the acquisition of players such as Phungwayo prove this.