By Kupakwashe Kambasha and Boineelo Kgope
The curtain has rolled down on yet another season of football action in the UJ Campus Football League (UJCFL). Several teams celebrate due to promotion, while some lament to the disappointment of relegation.
As all fixtures have been completed in both the Promotional and Major Leagues, log tables now dictate which teams will be promoted and relegated. Here are key points to analyse from both leagues.
The Promotional League, shortened to Promo League, is considered the lower level within the UJCFL. More like division 1, teams compete for promotion to the Major League.
This year’s top 3 to be promoted teams feature an interesting mixture: two old timers that finally bid farewell to the promo league and a new comer that always left the opponent’s goalkeepers stretching and nets dangling.
The Promo League fielded 19 teams this year and Ikhayalethu (IK) and Mill Junction (MJ) are the two teams that are not new to the promotional league. Respectively finishing first and second on the log table, it is celebration galore as they finally level up to compete in the Major League.
“This was my best season as a Promotional coach as it proved that hard work pays. After two seasons at IK, it was only fair that this had to be my victory year,” said IK coach Loyo Khuzwayo.
IK finished the season undefeated with 50 points in 18 games while MJ lost one game and pegged behind with 45 points. Ikhayalethu is still to show other teams that they were made for this come Saturday.
The IK squad is not stopping anytime as they gear up for the SRC Cup tournament. “The team expects to take this one just to prove that Promo League might be undermined by Major League teams, but IK is one of the best teams,” said Khuzwayo.
On the third position was Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command Football Club (EFFSC) and they made their debut appearance in this year’s Promo League, earning them a promotion to the Major League in their first ever season.
“It’s a good achievement . . . many teams in the internal leagues fail to make it to the next level on their first arrival in the league but we managed to deliver what was expected of us,” said EFFSC captain Itumeleng Chalale.
Following a spectacular winning streak in the first stages of the season, EFFSC counted their chickens before they could hatch and without knowing what was really in store for them; lack of discipline denied them the number one spot towards the end season.
“Many players thought that we have already won, they didn’t want to push and be committed as they were before, and hence we became third position,” said Chalale.
Although coming out as runner up, the EFFSC men shook the nets the most as they came out with the highest number of goals in the promo league, a staggering 64 goals in 18 games.
Nonetheless, their defensive stronghold was quite shaky as they conceded 26 goals making them the weakest link in the top 3. IK scored 60 and conceded 12 wile MJ bagged 61 and conceded 14.
While the Major League awaits the crème de la crème from the promo league, some embrace promotion and others lament to the disappointment of relegation from the Major into the Promo League.
The 2018 Major League season had 16 teams competing for the championship and Hector Peterson Residence claimed the silverware for this season.
Runners up Robin Crest and Kilimanjaro came second and third respectively and both these teams showed a great deal of improvement from the 2017 season which they performed quite dismally.
To Kilimanjaro making it to the top three is a big deal as they almost got axed from major league the previous season. “Being was an improvement last year’s standing. We were nearly relegated, so we are happy with the third spot,” said Kilimanjaro head coach Mashudu Netshiavha.
The team went an extra mile to get to the top as it was not a walk in the park. Kilimanjaro displayed good football through out the season but encountered defensive troubles as they conceding goals easily.
“We didn’t convert our chances. We were by far the best team when it comes to entertaining football but goals against us was a problem. We lacked the mentality to defend our goals,” added Netshiavha.
While in the Major it is only a fight to stay at the top, the bottom 3, however, get relegated to the promo league and sadly City Waldorf FC, Thomas Sankara FC and Kopano FC are set to be in next year’s Promo line up.
Interestingly, City Waldorf won the Major League in 2016 and are now relegated in 2018, while Thomas Sankara, formerly known as student town, is set to come back to the Promo League after leaving it in 2015.
The football game always starts with the right mentality from players and good discipline. Well, City had to learn such the hard way. The Once champions got too comfortable and forgot that anything is possible in football.
“We were too excited, and some players lost control and we were punished, but all in all we did very well . . . we’re hoping to come back next year,” said City Waldorf coach Mqoliso Mashele.
All the same, more football action is set for the 2019 season as teams from the various residences will battle for supremacy in the Major and Promo Leagues.
To wrap up the internal league football, eight teams will be at loggerheads on Saturday 6th October in the SRC Cup clash. This competition will also include ladies teams as well. TOJ
|Team1||Team two||Kick-off Time||Venue|
|Kilimanjaro||Electrical Fc||10:00 am||Aw Muller Fields|
|Ikhayalethu||Civils||10:00 am||Aw Muller Fields|
|YMCA||EFFSC FC||11:20 AM||Aw Muller Fields|
|Gateway||HP||11:20||AW Muller Fields|
|Team 1||Team 2||Kick-off time||Aw Muller Fields|
|Ikhayalethu Ladies||City Waldorf Ladies||13:00||Aw Muller Fields|
|Impumelelo||SophiaTown Ladies||13:00||Aw Muller Fields|
Reporting by Kupakwashe Kambasha & Boineelo Kgope; Editing by Gaby Ndongo
Feature image: Championship league trophy of the UJCFL.
Image courtesy to Boineelo Kgope