Premiership rookies start life in the topflight with an away date against the league champions
Premiership newcomers, Kick4Life, are ready to give defending champions Bantu a run for their money when the two sides meet this afternoon in a league match set for Leshoboro Seeiso Stadium in Mafeteng.
The flamboyant rookies are brimming with confidence following an impressive outing in the A Division, which saw them gain automatic promotion to the topflight league.
Yet in Bantu, Kick4Life might face a baptism of fire and start life in the big time on the wrong foot should they enter Leshoboro believing this is just but a mere game of football because the Premier League is a different ball game altogether.
However, according to Kick4Life spokesperson Ramafahla Thamae, the league’s new-boys are raring to go and would not have wished for a better start to the season.
“As Kick4Life, we are fully prepared for the match and the Premier League programme as a whole. We are going to take this match like any other tie, and play our normal game, which has taken us this far, although we know this is a different league.
“But what I can tell you is that we are here to compete and stay, which means we will have to win matches to see our dream come true. And for that to happen, we have to be prepared to tackle any team in the Premier League and that includes Bantu,” Thamae said.
“We have been playing lots of friendly matches during the off-season and I know our team is in good shape, which means our boys are capable of challenging any team in the league.
“However, that doesn’t imply we are taking anything away from Bantu because they are a formidable side and also the defending league champions, which means they deserve respect.”
Thamae said the spirit in camp is “very high” as the match itself is a motivation to the youthful Kick4Life side, which he said is hungry for success.
“The boys cannot wait for the season to start; they are all looking forward to their first match in the Premier League. Fans should come in their numbers to watch this game because we have a very exciting squad of youngsters, who are determined to prove themselves on the big stage. There is no greater motivation for the players than playing the league champions,” said Thamae.
On the other hand, Bantu spokesperson, Bokang Phasumane, said his side would be out for maximum points and ensure the league title stays in Mafeteng come end of the season.
“Although we already had quality in our team, we have still boosted our squad with five top players, which proves we are very serious about defending our title,” Phasumane said.
“Our preparations for the season have been impressive, and we played several friendly matches against some South African First Division and Premier League sides. With such thorough preparations, we are hoping the boys are in fine shape and in prime position to retain the championship. But we need to start the season on a high by thrashing Kick4Life, thereby sending a strong message of our intent this coming season.”
According to Phasumane, the players are ready to fight for the club and show the nation that winning the league title last season was no fluke.
“There is no doubt that this is going to be an entertaining match, seeing that it is our opening fixture of the new season,” said Phasumane.
“However, we will be without the services of our strikers Tsebang Lebata and Dlomo Monaphathi who are still nursing injuries. But still, we have a strong squad, which means we have enough replacements for the two players.”
Meanwhile, in other Premier League matches taking place today, Linare host Qoaling Highlanders at Hlotse Ground, while newly promoted Qalo FC make their debut with a tough away tie against FC Likhopo at LCS Ground.