CAPE TOWN - Independent Media soccer writer Rodney Reiners has looked at Ajax Cape Town and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key Player: Grant Margeman
After a sensational introduction to the PSL last season, 19-year-old Margeman has an opportunity to kick on and prove he is one of the brightest talents in the country. He’s an instinctive footballer, capable of picking a pass, creating space and, when the opportunity presents itself, he’s just as adept at scoring goals.
Coach: Stanley Menzo
The former Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper has brought greater stability and discipline to the squad. Soft-spoken yet firm, he demands respect. However, as yet, even though the team has played well at times, it’s the consistency in performances that continues to plague Ajax. Menzo will be more than keen for his players to produce positive results on a more consistent basis this season.
As always, Ajax’s great strength is the flowing, smooth-passing style of football that many in the PSL have to come to admire over the years. When the Capetonians are on song, and playing with fluency and rhythm, few teams can live with them.
Unfortunately, and it’s still their great weakness, for all the passing and movement, Ajax don’t score enough. It’s pointless dominating the opposition in terms of possession and territory, and then not turning that dominance into goals. To add to that, in recent years, the Cape side has regularly conceded too many soft goals - and this, too, is something they need to eradicate if they wish to improve.
Things haven’t really gone well for Ajax over the last few seasons, so stability is what they will be looking for in the upcoming campaign. A top eight finish is likely be their top priority.
Having regularly flirted with relegation over the last two seasons, the last thing Ajax need is to have to fight another battle on this ignominious front this time around.
Best: 2nd in 2004, 2008 and 2011
Worst: 14th in 2002 and 2013)
Goalkeepers: Brandon Petersen, Jody February, Darren Johnson. Defenders: Erwin Isaacs, Eric Chipeta, Isaac Nhlapo, Junaid Sait, Rivaldo Coetzee, Sirgio Kammies, Mosa Lebusa, Rheece Evans, Roscoe Pietersen, Shane Saraline, Yagan Sasman. Midfielders: Leo Thetani, Ziyaad Eksteen, Ejike Uzoenyi, Innocent Nemukondeni, Travis Graham, Roderick Kabwe, Toriq Losper, Aubrey Funga, Neo Makua, Grant Margeman, Ndiviwe Mdabuka, Thabo Mosadi, Bantu Mzwakali, Masilake Phohlongo. Strikers: Prince Nxumalo, Thomas Chideu, Tashreeq Morris, Sedwyn George.