JOHANNESBURG - Independent Media soccer writer Minenhle Mkhize has looked at Platinum Stars and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Lehlogonolo Masalesa
'Vieira' is back to where it all began. He is matured now having plied his trade for a couple of PSL sides, Wits and Pirates, as well as having had a short stint out in Greece. He recently captained Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Cup and that recognition will see him tackle the new season with great confidence. Dikwena bought him to fill the void left by veteran Solomon Mathe.
Coach: Peter Butler
He is on a hiding to nothing, Butler having previously described the PSL as “average’. He was at pains trying to wiggle his way out of this statement he made while still in charge of Botswana’s Township Rollers during his first press conference on Wednesday. Many a PSL clubs will want to make the Englishman pay for his statements and it remains to be seen whether he can prove his superiority. That he has coached in lowly Malaysia, Singapore and Botswana apart from his country of birth the United Kingdom suggests he might struggle.
They are a solid team with a few experienced campaigners in captain Vuyo Mere, strikers Robert Ng’ambi and Henrico Botes. They play attacking football and they have the potential to have a good season should they click under the new coach. The campaign in the Confederation Cup, although pretty poor, will have seen the younger players garner good experience that should come in handy.
Losing key players in every transfer window has been their major downfall. The trend has persisted with Ndumiso Mabena and Kabelo Kodisang having left this term. But perhaps the biggest threat to their season is the news of the club being put up for sale. The uncertainty will affect the players negatively.
Avoiding relegation will be of paramount importance and the Bafokeng’s hope that they get a buyer in the North West Province will also make this a good campaign.
Failing to avoid the chop.
Best: Runners-up in 2007 and 2013
Worst: 14th in 2009
Goalkeepers: Steven Hoffman, Mbongeni Mzimela, Nhlakanipho Duma, Cyril Chibwe. Defenders: Vuyo Mere, Sphamandla Mlilo, Siyabonga Zulu, Gift Sithole, Sphiwe Mnguni, Tshirelatso Lesabane, Siyabonga Zulu, Siboniso Gumede, Michael Mabule, Thamsanqa Gwabeni. Midfielders: Ryan de Jongh, Lehlohonolo Maselesa, Sipho Senne, Charles Baloyi, Sibusiso Msomi, Robert Ng’ambi, Thuto Mphahlele, Sibongakonke Mbatha, Gift Links. Forwards: Henrico Botes, Benson Shilongo, Thobani Kunene.