Ajax Cape Town will look to get their NFD campaign off to a winning start against Jomo Cosmos. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
The idiom “how you start will determine how you’ll finish” will definitely come in handy when Jomo Cosmos welcome Ajax Cape Town to Vosloorus Stadium today (3pm kick-off).

These are two National First Division (NFD) hopefuls that will be looking to make their way back into the Absa Premiership next season.

Ezenkosi were close to booking a spot in the top-flight via the play-offs last campaign, only for them to be surpassed by Black Leopards.

Their one-season syndrome whenever they make it to the elite league is something that coach and club owner Jomo Sono will be looking to evade, should they make it next season.

In striving to do so, they’ve brought in a relatively new team that includes Seun Ledwaba, who was at the book of Highlands Park last season.

Although Sono announced his 2018/19 squad on Saturday, reports have it that Orlando Pirates striker Ayanda Nkosi’s arrival at Cosmos is imminent, due to come in as a loan player.

Cosmos’s biggest strength, though, has been their ability to be a franchise to quality teams, both locally and abroad.

Recently, club product Linda Mntambo made his way to Pirates after an impressive campaign with Chippa United.

Meanwhile, Ajax will be looking to bounce back to elite football after their fall to the second tier was decided through the controversial and protracted Tendai Ndoro registration saga.

They haven’t been quiet in terms of strengthening their team, either, as they have brought in season campaigners such as Sibusiso Khumalo and Raymond Monama, who were respectively at Kaizer Chiefs and the defunct Platinum Stars, now known as Cape Umoya United who’re also camping in the NFD this season.

The duo bring a lot of experience to the Urban Warriors’ camp, but keeping the core of the team will be key if they are to bounce back immediately to the Premiership.

Another valuable acquisition is that of Thendo Mukumela from Mamelodi Sundowns, who’s represented the national Under-20 side, Amajita, and was crucial in Sundowns’ triumph in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge two seasons ago.

Mukumela is seem as the replacement for Mosa Lebusa, who left the club to join the Brazilians.

Another aspect that will motivate Ajax this season is their ability to continue using Cape Town Stadium, which has been their fortress in the previous campaigns.

That will also be an advantage when they welcome teams that are used to a lower crowd capacity.

Santos’s relegation and failure to bounce back to top-flight football will also serve as an eye-opener for the Cape Town-based team, especially now that the entire province is only represented by Cape Town City in the higher division.


Sunday Independent

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