JOHANNESBURG - Independent Media soccer writer Minenhle Mkhize has looked at Bloemfontein Celtic and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Mark Mayambela
He is a player blessed with great talent but has lacked consistency over the years. Last season at Ajax, however, he showed some glimpses of the player he can be if he remains focused and plays to his best on a regular basis. Chippa’s playing philosophy will suit his style.
Coach: Dan Malesela
Mahoota admiring my touches from behind😋⚽️there's never a better time than doing it now!! pic.twitter.com/sPrPwxJdKL
Malesela is renowned for his brand of entertaining, attacking football that South Africans always demand of their teams but few deliver. All his teams play with flair and their emphasis is on keeping possession and breaking down the opposition with intricate, patient passing, Having earned his spurs in the lower ranks, from the Sundowns development through to the NFD (where he coached two sides), he finally fully graduated to the big league last season and did well by leading Chippa to semifinals of both the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup,. Can he take things a step further? We wait to see.
Chippa are among the most confident ball-playing teams in the league. They are all about keeping possession and hurting the opposition with pace on the wings. They have flair, they can pass the ball around confidently and they are not afraid to take any team head on.
Coaching instability has always let Chippa down with trigger-happy owner Chippa Mpengesi prone to firing a coach on a whim. On the playing field, the team’s attack-mindedness is often let down by their lack of potency up front. Their defence is not among the most solid although James Okwuosa’s return and the arrival of goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo should help.
Malesela has already indicated that he wants to deliver silverware. But the reality is that reaching any kind of final would be a massive achievement, ditto for making the top eight. Oh and keeping Malesela all season will be worth a celebration.
Missing out on the top eight once again will mean the club has regressed following the two semifinal appearances last season.
Best: 6th in 2016
Worst: 15th in 2013
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi, Brighton Mhlongo, Zama Dlamini, Ayanda Masiko. Defenders: Mpho Mvelase, James Okwousa, Paseka Mako, Diamond Thopola, Conrad Madolo, Abel Mabaso. Midfielders: Menzi Masuku, Buyani Sali, Mark Mayambela, Kurt Lenjties, Mbulelo Wambi, Xolani Mdaki, Samuel Julies Sizwe Mdlinzo, Sandile Zuke, Tshwarelo Bereng. Strikers: Katlego Mashego, Rhulani Manzini, Lerato Manzini, Moeketsi Sekola