NFD roller coaster still hard to call

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

The National First Division third round kicks off tomorrow and talk is already about who will participate in the playoffs or be relegated to the Vodacom Promotion League.

Fees Moloi, African Warriors' general manager, said yesterday: "No one is sure about where they will finish at the end of the season because even leaders Carara Kicks are not yet confirmed [for the playoffs], though they have been on top of the log for a long time.

"There are many games left and anything can happen. Despite dropping valuable points against Kicks we still fancy our chances of participating in the playoffs as well" Moloi said.,

In the coastal stream, Kicks have been the most consistent side and are almost guaranteed a place in the promotional playoffs, thanks to their giant-killing acts in their maiden season.

The Bethlehem outfit tops the log with 29 points from 14 games, seven points clear of their nearest rivals.

The second berth can go either way between African Warriors, FC Cape Town and Ikapa Sporting, who all have accumulated 22 points from 14 games.

At the other end of the table, basement side Durban Stars are likely to remain there until the end of the season.

Vasco da Gama, Nathi Lions and Hanover Park are also not safe from the dreaded axe since they are separated by a mere three points from Stars.

In the inland stream pundits predict a photo finish.

Themba Mafu, Witbank Spurs director, said: "We still have 21 points to play for, so anything is possible.

"I think those who will be relegated or participate in the playoffs will be decided on the last day."

All the teams in this stream - it boasts two former Premiership sides in Jomo Cosmos and Black Leopards - have been inconsistent.

The fact that the team at the top of the table, AmaTuks, and bottom side Witbank Spurs are separated by a mere 10 points is proof of the competitiveness of the stream.

Meanwhile, Winners Park have sacked Mlungisi "Professor" Ngubane and replaced him with Innocent "Ayobayo" Mayoyo.