Experienced campaigners spur on rookies Steenberg

Image: 123RF/ MTSARIDE

GladAfrica Championship rookies Steenberg United are emerging as one of the surprise packages, with four wins, a draw and four losses after nine matches.

Steenberg earned promotion to the second-tier from the ABC Motsepe League via finishing as runners-up in the national play-offs last season under the tutelage of experienced coach Mike Lukhubeni.

Lukhubeni made a name for himself when he guided the now top-flight outfit, Chippa United, from the third-tier (then known as Vodacom League) to the second-tier in the 2010/11 season.

The Cape club have in their books seasoned campaigners such as Nkosinathi Mthiyane, Ayabulela Konqobe, Thamsanqa Gwabeni, Vuyisile Ntombayithethi and Ruzaigh Gamildien, who's the league's top-scorer with six goals so far after nine games.

While believing there's still a room for improvement for them, Lukhubeni has conceded that having tried and tested players has aided them massively in their early rich form. "You can see that most of our players know this league very well. the experience shows. However we can still do better than we're doing. In football you must always try to be better than yesterday,'' said Lukhubeni.

"Gamildien is doing very well for us... coming from the midfield [to] score."

Gamildien's solitary goal handed Steenberg a 1-0 away win at Mbombela United at the weekend.

Other GladAfrica results:

Swallows 1, Cosmos 1; Kings 3, Free State Stars 0; Tshakhuma 3, JDR Stars 1; Uthongathi 0, Richards Bay 0; Mbombela 0, Steenberg 1; Sporting 2, Ajax 3; Umoya 1, Eagles 0.