United, Batau finish top

FREE State's United FC and Batau of Mpumalanga are the new teams in the National First Division (NFD) after prevailing in the week-long playoffs in East London.

United have replaced Durban Stars who were relegated from the Coastal Stream, while Batau came in for the once feared FC AK in the inland stream.

Stars and Bahumi will campaign in the Safa Vodacom Promotional League next season.

United and Batau finished on top of their respective logs in the playoffs where the latter also enjoyed an unbeaten record in three matches.

United, on the other hand, suffered one defeat in four matches in their stream.

Solly Matsimela, Batau owner, said they were delighted to have gained promotion to the NFD and has warned that they will not add to the numbers in this league.

Matsimela said : "After losing out last season we went back to the drawing board and mapped out plans for the new season. "

Former Orlando Pirates player James Mothibi, who now plays for United but didn't play in the playoffs due to an ankle injury, is equally ectatic about their triumph.

"The players did not only make us proud but the province of Free State. It is good for the development of football in the province to have many teams playing in the NFD and [Absa] Premiership. We will fight hard for promotion to the elite league next season," said Mothibi, who added that he still had three more seasons left to play competitively.