by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – IT is early days in the Motsepe Foundation Championship but table-topping Hungry Lions have set a bold target of promotion to the DStv Premiership.
This is a big dream from this club from the small Northern Cape town of Postmasburg.
A great start to the campaign buoys the bold declaration of promotion to the elite league, with a lot at stake in this edition of the national first division, which now boasts a sponsor.
In addition to promotion to the DStv Premiership, R3 million (US$175 286) has been set aside for the winner of the Motsepe Foundation Championship.
At the time of publication, Lions topped the 16-team standings and were the only side in the second tier of South African football to enjoy a 100-percent record.
What makes their start even the more interesting is that these wins by coach Henry Bassie’s team have been secured away from home.
Ex-Premiership side, Black Leopards, and Pretoria Callies have been on the receiving end of the early pacesetters.
Otsile Denzel Baitsomedi, Lions’ spokesman, disclosed the team’s ultimate ambitions for the season.
“Promotion to the DStv Premiership,” he responded in an interview with CAJ News Africa.
He attributed Ditau di a Rora’s positive start to a successful pre-season.
“The performances are as a result of a very dedicated and committed group of players and technical team. The cohesion and willingness to fight for each other and the badge drive the team,” Baitsomedi said.
Promotion to the big time would be an unprecedented feat by Lions, coming from a province that has never provided a team to participate in the modern day South African top league.
In addition, Lions are campaigning in their second stint in the first division.
They finished the first campaign 11th on the log in the then GladAfrica Championship as Richards Bay secured automatic promotion and the University of Pretoria failed in the promotional playoffs.
Lions are perennial campaigners in the Nedbank Cup.
Baitsomedi is not perturbed by the fact that both wins in the Motsepe Foundation Championship have been 1-0, the slimmest victory in the game.
“We are taking it one game at a time,” he assured.
“I think the three points at the end become more important than how many goals scored, especially if you continue to keep clean sheets,” the publicist argued.
Lions are away to Uthongathi at the Princess Magogo in KwaMashu on Wednesday (tomorrow).
A roaring welcome meanwhile awaits Lions at the Windhoek Draught Park in Kimberley in their first home match of the season, against Platinum City Rovers.
– CAJ News