The South African Football Association’s (SAFA) much coveted third-tier ABC Motsepe League began last month and has already captured the hearts and imaginations of the local football fraternity across all nine provinces.
Featuring a mammoth 144 clubs, the winner of each provincial division qualifies for the annual ‘Promotional Play-offs’, where they will be divided into two streams. The winners of the two streams will be promoted to the National First Division (NFD).
Hence there is much to play for as teams jostle for top spot within their own provinces while also attempting to stave of the dreaded relegation threat.
The Eastern Cape has been rather competitive after a mere four games with the likes of Amavarara, surprise package Matta Milan and Peace Makers all locked on nine points at the top of the log with the likes of Bush Pirates rooted in last place with only a point to their name.
Free State, which remains one of the more entertaining editions, sees regular giants Mangaung Unite and BFN Young Tigers locked in an early two-way battle for top position while Lijabatho FC languish in 16th place and still looking to pick up their first point.
Arguably the country’s most popular region, Gauteng, has also delivered goals aplenty with Orange Vaal Professional FC leading a chasing pack with five wins from the first six fixtures. At the other end, Remember Elite Sports Academyare winless with a worrying goal difference of -13.
KwaZulu-Natal, an undeniable hub for footballing talent, has also had an interesting start with last season’s champions and play-off hopefuls Summerfield Dynamos involved in a three-way tussle with decorated Mvoti United FC and Dabeka Sporting, who lead with 15 points at the summit. Edenvale Juventus are still winless after five games and will be looking to gain some momentum in the coming weeks.
Limpopo has proven to be one of the more open divisions with majority of the top eight teams bunched together as Ditlou FC lead proceedings with 11 points from five games. At the foot of table lie Polokwane Academy who are still searching for their first point of the campaign.
The Mpumalanga province sees FC Sivutsa NPC, Nkomazi Real Aces and Barberton City Stars FC all vying for top honours and dominating thus far while BTM Sports FC continue to struggle in last place.
North West province has enjoyed more action than other editions and already delivered battles for the ages. However, Polokwane City Rovers have laid down marker with seven wins from seven completed fixtures and a goal difference of +20. New Castle United FC will hoping to improve on their -17 goal difference and move out of the relegation zone as soon as possible.
Northern Cape Province has also been spoilt for choice with key fixtures already enthralling local fans. The unbeaten Kalamas Sundowns head the table with 13 points from five matches while United Rovers, in spite picking up an early win, sit bottom.
Finally, the mighty Western Province edition has unfortunately been delayed but could prove to be the most exciting of them all considering the make-up of the teams this season. Barcelona FC have been promoted via the SAB League while Police FC have bought their status at the expense of The Magic FC. Ajax Cape Town will also be headlining as teams will look to gain early ascendency across the province.