Season’s Greetings, Phelicans

Phelicans all over the country have either returned from their holiday destinations, or are returning as we speak. All roads lead to home.

From Phelindaba Local Football Association, we would like to greet all the Phelicans with the spirit of the New Year. We welcome back all those who were on holidays. There is no place like home. None like Pheli.

2018 – what a year it was in terms of soccer.

Internationally, we have seen a soccer great, Christiano Ronaldo making his name in Italy. He has proven that he is a brand by himself. He pulled crowds from the English Premier League from his Manchester United days, to Spain whilst doing duty at Real Madrid. He now pulls crowds from Spain to Italy as he does duty for Juventus. Never have we seen so much interest in the Serie A League by South Africans. Not even during the days of our very own Siyabonga Nomvete whilst he was plying his trade at Udinese. We hear he has even thrown a challenge for Messi to join him in Italy so that their rivalry can continue there. But Messi is still comfortable in Spain. I guess we will see their rivalry during UEFA competitions.

We have seen some explosive growth of interest in the English Premier League – thanks to Guardiola, Klopp, and Mourinho. Their excellence and controversies alike created a lot of interests to football lovers all over the world. Manchester City having won the EPL title for the 2018/2018 season, and having not lost for more than twenty matches towards December 2018, they showed that they were not flukes, but true champions. Trouble started when they lost to Chelsea in December. They followed with losses to Crystal Palace and Southampton. They gave space for Liverpool to take the lead of the EPL standings. This showed that Klopp is no pushover and his intentions are clear. He says 2018/19 belongs to Liverpool. Worse, Liverpool beat Manchester United in December and that resulted in Mourinho being fired from the red devils. But this year, Liverpool was humbled by Manchester City when they lost 2 – 1 to the Citizens on the 3rd of January, leaving the gap between them at four points. So the title race is very much alive.

Back at home, Mamelodi Sundowns won the PSL Title in 2018. This was the 8th title since the establishment of PSL. This makes them most successful club in the country when it comes to league titles in the PSL era. They started the league on shaky grounds, possibly contributed by the Champions League schedule. However, they are still doing relatively well in on the league. They ended the year sitting at the sixth position. Currently they are 8 points behind the log leaders, Bidvest Wits with 3 games at hand. So the prospects are promising. Plus, we note that Coach Pitso Mosimane no longer complains about the hectic schedule. He and his team have or are currently adjusting mentally that you cannot be a champ and not have a hectic schedule. It comes with the territory. As Pretorians and Phelicans, we wish the best to Sundowns. We wish for the second star and whilst we wish for the 9th title.

Let’s us not forget about Supersport United. Apparently at Supersport, Coaches get to be noticed quickly by SAFA to make them Bafana Coaches. It happened with Pitso when he was at Supersport, it happened with Stuart also. That is why Eric Tinkler left Cape Town City to join Supersport United. But hey, it did not go well. Supersport was almost relegated. Kaitano Tembo took over during that last games of 2017/2018 season to steer the Matsatsantsa towards safety. United currently sits comfortably at position 4 with 23 points at 15 matches. They are still very much title contenders with Kaitano Tembo now firmly confirmed as the Head Coach. Prospects are good. If they do not finish first, we wish for them to finish second. They still got it. They are still the Phelicans, even though they are not happy with the support, or lack thereof from the Phelicans at large. We see opportunities to rectify that, strengthen support locally, and deepen talent exchange.

Sadly, we do not have a team at the National First Division (NFD). We missed an opportunity when Tim Sukazi bought the NFD status from Western Cape, and he was looking for a home for his TS Galaxy team. Lucas Moripe Stadium was one of the options for him but an opportunity was not used to get him and company to consider.

But we do have a team at the ABC Motsepe League, that is, Pretoria Callies. Callies is competing with the likes of Swallows and Vaal Professionals. It is currently sitting at position 9 of 16 teams, with 15 matches played at 19 points. They are 12 points behind the log leaders, Baberwa FC. The Romans, as they are affectionately known, have suffered from too many draws. They drew 7 matches. They have lost only 4 matches and yet Alexander United, who are on position 6, lost 6 matches with 21 points. That is because they also won 6 matches. We wish Pretoria Callies the best. May they finish at top 4 – that is our challenge for them.

We have five teams at the SAB League. They all participate at the SAFA Tshwane Regional League (Stream A). These are:

  • EC Manchester (Pos. 5, Played 11, 20 Points)
  • PUBS (Pos. 8, Played 10, 14 Points)
  • Future Maters (Pos. 9, Played 9, 14 Points)
  • Young Tigers (Pos. 10, Played 9, 14 Points)
  • FC Barcelona (Pos. 16, Played 11, 7 Points)

Two of our teams are on the top 8 of 17 teams. Barcelona is on relegation zone. Only EC Manchester has won more than 50% of the matches played.

As the association we realise that we need to support these teams more. Currently they exist as if they are on their own. There are no formal conversations between them and the association. However, we notice also that the engagement model at the region is wrong. It is a model that poises itself as if these Members are actually the region’s members. To correct this, the association is putting together a forum locally called the Operations Forum. This forum will comprise of all PSL, ABC Motsepe and SAB League Members, with conversations that are aimed at supporting them and accelerating their ambitions. Regionally, we will be challenging the region to rectify the governance models to ensure that LFA Members who participate at their leagues are seen and treated as LFA Members, not regional members. Decision making for the SAB League must make its way to the regional Congresses, which currently does not.

Right in our back yard, we have 13 teams registered and participating on our Super League. They have played a maximum of 4 matches each thus far with Real Jabulani enjoying the lead with 12 points and a clean sheet. Bakwena also enjoys a 100% win with 12 points as well, but suffered 3 goals scored against them, with a goal difference of 7 compared to Real Jabulani’s 14. It is too early to tell in the race, although Real Jabulani already has a game won again Young Tigers, whilst Bakwena already has games won against Jakaranda Callies, Young Zebras and Heroes. SSS united has been a casualty to both these teams already.

Pretoria Cardinals suffered losses in all 3 matches it has played against EC Manchester (Pos. 7, Played 4, 3 Points), Vikings (Pos. 3, Played 3, 7 Points) and Real Jabulani (log leaders). As we enter the New Year, we trust the tempo will increase in this league and the competition will be tighter.

We prepare ourselves to hold the PLFA Ordinary Congress 2019 on the 26th of January. We also prepare ourselves to host the Pre-Season Competitions for all Junior and Intermediary Football divisions in February. During that while, teams will be readying themselves by registering and putting their standing with the association in good order. There will also be a Workshop that is set up primarily to unpack the Rules, Policies and Processes of the association to enable a smoother league season. We are planning to kick off the leagues competitively on the 2nd of March 2019. Super League will be playing this whole time to end its league on the 26th of May 2019.

Once more, welcome to 2019 Phelicans.

Remember, to communicate with the association, send an email to You can also engage us on our Facebook page ( or link up with us on twitter (@phelindabaLFA), or simply leave your comment on this article.


About Mapitsa Poopedi 58 Articles
Management of the Effectiveness of the Executive Committee and Congress Meetings and outcomes thereof, Ensuring that the tactical and strategic drive of the organization is maintained and supported.

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