Baroka are no longer PSL new boys – and have set lofty ambitions to match

Matome Kgoetyane of Baroka FC chased by Teenage Hadebe during the 2018 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal game between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 31 March 2018.
Matome Kgoetyane of Baroka FC chased by Teenage Hadebe during the 2018 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal game between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 31 March 2018.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Baroka FC are no longer new boys in the top flight of South Africa and must be seen as part and parcel of the Premier Soccer League‚ said chief executive officer Morgan Mammila.

Baroka will embark on their third season in the Absa Premiership when they kick off away against AmaZulu next week‚ and have set themselves a target of a top eight finish.

“Our target is to play and to do well in all the all the major competitions and that means qualifying for the MTN8. So‚ a top eight finish is the least we are aiming for.”

Baroka ‘s first season after promotion saw them end second from bottom‚ but stay up after winning the post-season payoffs.

In the last campaign they were among the early season leaders before sliding down to end in 14th place‚ one better than that maiden campaign.

Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda has taken over as coach‚ having given up his job as Zambian national team boss – and Mammila said that‚ like all new coaches‚ he has arrived “brining new energy and‚ like all of us‚ wants to win the league”.

Baroka‚ who travel to Johannesburg this weekend for a warm-up friendly against Orlando Pirates‚ have been active in the transfer market with a bevy of new signings. They have sought to clean house‚ but say the door is now closed.

“It would have to be a really special player if we were to sign anybody now. Maybe if Ronaldo came to South Africa‚” he quipped.

Baroka have brought in ex-Chiefs players Emmanuel Letlotlo and David Zulu to bolster their attack‚ and Zama Dlamini‚ formerly with Chippa United‚ as goalkeeping cover.

Foreign signings include Orebotse Mongae from Botswana‚ Hussein Shabani from Burundi and goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze from Zimbabwe.

From the National First Division‚ Baroka have signed Zimbabwean striker Ranga Chivarviro from Ubuntu Cape Town‚ Bheki Maliba and Tshidiso Patjie from Mbombela United‚ Mashale Rantabane from Mthatha Bucks‚ Thabo Moseki from University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos’ Namibia international left back Ananias Gebhardt.

From the amateurs ranks‚ they have also added centre back Bonginkosi Makume and striker Siseko Manona.

The club are away at AmaZulu on the opening day of the new season next Saturday and play their first home game against Cape Town City in Polokwane on Wednesday‚ August 8.

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