Leopards, Stellenbosch confident of winning National First Division play-offs

Premier Soccer League spokesperson Luxolo September and football manager Prof. Ronnie Schloss conduct the draw for the promotion play-offs.


Following the automatic promotion of Thanda Royal Zulu to the Premier Soccer League for the 2017/18 season after winning the National First Division (NFD), two more NFD clubs will be vying to play in the elite league this coming season.

But those two clubs must first overcome the promotion play-offs against the team that will finish 15th in the Absa Premiership before they can raise their hopes too high.

The two teams of the NFD are Limpopo side Black Leopards and Western Cape outfit Stellenbosch FC, which finished second and third respectively. The three teams will be involved in round robin home and away match playoffs to determine which team will be promoted.

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The first playoff match will be on 31 May between Stellenbosch and the Premier Division team (PD15). On 3 June Stellenbosch will play Leopards and on 7 June PD15 will take on Leopards. On 10 June PD15 will be up against Stellenbosch and on 14 June the two teams will do battle again.

The final game of the plays-offs will be between Leopards and PD15 on 17 June. The venues and kick-off times for all the games are yet to be announced.

In his reaction to the draw, Leopards coach Jean Francois Losciuto noted that he had the opportunity to sit in the stand and analyse the games of his opponents on 31 May.

“I consider myself lucky in that I will be able to watch them play… hence I can analyse them and preparewell for both of them in matches to come.

“I am confident that Leopards will go all the way and be promoted to premiership next season. I will do my utmost on the coaching front and hope the players too come to party on the field of play and produce the expected results,” said the Frenchman, who has taken Leopards from the bottom half of the log to finish second behind Thanda Royal Zulu.

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Equally confident was Stellenbosch FC experienced tactician Steve Barker who has coached in the premiership before.

“We’re going to work hard on various fronts including mental fitness to ensure the men are in the right frame of mind to win the games and gain promotion,” he said.

Can you hazard a guess as to which team you think is likely to win the promotional play-offs and why? Like the Alex News Facebook page to post your views.

Sipho Siso

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