Bantu on course for league title

Bantu on course for league title

MASERU – When Bob Mafoso was appointed Bantu coach at the beginning of the season it was a logical appointment simply because Mafoso had been at the club previously and knew the club and its culture.
Mafoso acknowledged the pressure of the job he was walking into, especially as he was succeeding a beloved figure in South African James Madidilane, but he was ready for the challenge.

Bantu is a big club but Mafoso is no rookie when it comes to coaching. He has proven himself with two Premier League clubs – Sundawana and Kick4Life – and he said he was ready for the job.

Mafoso was at Bantu during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons as an assistant coach to Madidilane as ‘A Matšo Matebele’ won back-to-back league championships.

In October, Mafoso insisted he returned to win trophies as he outlined his dreams and ambitions for the club.
Perhaps it was disappointing Bantu failed to win the first trophy of the season when they fell in the semi-finals of the Independence Cup last month but ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are blitzing the Econet Premier League.

They are top with 31 points from 11 matches, seven points clear of defending champions Matlama who have played a game more.
Bantu remain the only team yet to lose a game and, at the moment, it is difficult to see when they are going to be beaten. Could Kick4Life be the first team to hand them a defeat next week?

One cannot underestimate them but ninth-placed Kick4Life are not the same team they were last season when they finished fifth.
Kick4Life have been inconsistent but they do put in good performances against the so-called big boys.

Bantu have the best squad in the league which is stacked with quality players in every position.
Even though they have been unlucky with injuries to some of their best players, those that are available have stepped up and done the job.

More good news for the Mafeteng giants is that Lindokuhle Phungulwa, who has been side-lined since the start of the season, is set to return to action this January and could be involved as early next week.
The influential playmaker has recovered from a knee injury he suffered in September and he started training before Christmas.
The only long-term injury headache is winger Tšepang Sefali who will be out until March, at least, with a broken collarbone.

Normally, around 54 points is enough to win the league; last season Matlama were crowned champions with 61 points.
Bantu are playing so well there is a possibility they could reach 70 points if they take their form into the second round. They have already amassed 31 points from 11 games and have a game in hand on their nearest challengers.

This season, the Econet Premier League title could be decided earlier than usual because that’s just how good the leaders have been so far.
The second round starts next week and we will be watching.

Econet Premier League standings:

 

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

D

P

1

Bantu

11

10

1

0

27

3

+24

31

2

Matlama

12

7

3

2

23

8

+15

24

3

LCS

12

5

4

3

8

7

+1

19

4

Linare

12

5

3

4

13

11

+2

18

5

Lifofane

11

5

3

3

9

9

+0

18

6

Likhopo

12

4

5

3

16

14

+2

17

7

Lioli

10

4

3

3

12

8

+4

15

8

LMPS

11

4

2

5

6

9

-3

14

9

Kick4Life

10

3

4

3

8

8

+0

13

10

Liphakoe

12

1

7

4

5

11

-6

10

11

Sefotha-fotha

12

2

3

7

4

12

-8

9

12

LDF

9

1

5

3

7

9

-2

8

13

Lijabatho

11

1

5

5

9

13

-4

8

14

Swallows

11

1

2

8

3

28

-25

5

Tlalane Phahla

 

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