Matlosana aiming for First Division

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Matlosana FC are on a mission to make North West proud by ensuring that the province has a club in the First Division next season.

"We have assembled a young and formidable team hungry for success," said Brian "Baby Jake" Sebapole, Matlosana technical staff member.

Sebapole and Gesond Vilakazi are two former Jomo Cosmos players who will guide Matlosana FC during the Vodacom League national playoffs.

North West are without a representative in the First Division after GaRankuwa United were relegated to the Vodacom League this season.

The national playoffs, which will see nine provincial winners taking part, will take place in Tlokwe and Matlosana from May 18 to 24.

The launch of the playoffs took place at Vodaworld in Midrand yesterday, which was attended by Safa's top brass and representatives of the clubs.

The nine teams will be divided into two streams, coastal and inland, with those finishing on top at the end of the group stages being promoted to the First Division.

"We know that it will be a tough competition, considering that the majority of the clubs are coached by former professional players," said Sebapole.

Besides playing for Cosmos and Bafana Bafana, Sebapole has also represented the South African national beach soccer side.

Balebetse Monnakgotla, Safa's acting competitions director, said: "We are excited that the tournament has finally been launched.

"We are all looking forward to a great tournament, we have been inundated with enquiries from talent scouts who want to attend in search of players."

Among some of the former professionals who will be coaching in this tournament are Nigel Dixon (Bush Bucks), Joel Mongalo (Classic), Jerry Sikhosana (M Tigers), Themba Sithole (Carara) and Carlos Das Neves (Vasco Da Gama).

Safa and Vodacom are using the playoffs to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the giant mobile phone company as title sponsors of the league.

Meanwhile, the clubs who finished second in the same league and Safa have decided to go for arbitration on May 12.

Clubs that finished second are angry that Safa has decided not to allow them to participate in the playoffs.