2016/17 PSL Season ready for kick-off

Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club unveiled their brand new kit for the 2016/2017 season at Bloem Plaza, at the Bloemfontein CBD on Monday. A new home, away as well as a goalkeeper strip was revealed to the fans. Siwelele also used the kit launch as an opportunity to introduce some of their preseason signings to the fans. PHOTO: MOEKETSI MOGOTSI

The 2016/17 Premier Soccer League kicks off this week and the defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, are the team to beat.

A lot of the teams took out the cheque books, but the Downs coach, Pitso Mosimane, took his time with his signings and made very little. However, he did very smartly and instead chose to stick with a winning team and signed just four players.

They are Ricardo Nascimento, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lucky Mohomi and the big fish, Thapelo Morena, from Bloemfontein Celtic. This has also seen the Burundian international striker, Fiston Abdul Razak, link up with Phunya Sele Sele again.

Kaizer Chiefs are also tipped to do well again this season and under the guidance of the former Bafana Bafana captain, Steve Khompela, will be as daunting as well.

Orlando Pirates had a fairly disappointing 2015/16 season but with Muhsin Ertugral coaching the side, will once again be a force to be reckoned with.

The newly formed Cape Town City F.C. (former Mpumalanga Black Aces) could spring a major surprise on paper and has promised to be a very exciting prospect indeed.

Celtic have made plenty of signings during the off season and will look fresh with Cheslyn Jampies, Deon Hotto, Robert Sankara, Tlou Molekwane and Khethokwakhe Masuku in the mix but a lot of quality players have left, which could hurt the team, none more so than the departure of Morena to the Brazilians on a five-year contract.

Only time will tell and Serame Letsoaka’s first goal should be to get Phunya Sele Sele back in the top eight.

Round one fixtures:
Tuesday 23 August
• Bidvest Wits v Kaizer Chiefs, Bidvest Stadium, 19:30.
• Cape Town City F.C. v Polokwane City, Cape Town Stadium, 19:30.
• Baroka FC v Ajax Cape Town, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, 19:30.
• Chippa United v Free State Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 19:30.
Wednesday 24 August 2016
• Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows, Orlando Stadium, 19:30.
• Platinum Stars v SuperSport United, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 19:30.
• Bloem Celtic v Maritzburg United, Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium, 19:30. – MORGAN PIEK