Will Zizwe be third time lucky?

How much more pain can Zizwe United Football Club take after falling short in the two the ABC Motsepe promotion play-offs? Or will it be third time lucky for them?

Last week was a busy week for teams in all divisions, with some fighting to move to the next level and others fighting for survival.

Our own Zizwe won the ABC Motsepe division to go to the play-offs. In the same play-offs, Gugulethu based Cape Town All Stars are competing for a premiership spot.

While we must applaud the achievements of all our Cape Town teams, my focus is on Zizwe, an ambitious team, which in my opinion, has been in the Motsepe League for too long now.

If my memory serves me well, the Nyanga-based team has been to two play-offs already. They went to East London in the 2016/17 season, and Gauteng in 2019/20 season – and now are going to the North West Province. One hopes the Platinum Province will be good to them.

They have, however, just changed coaches due to contractual differences and – though I might be wrong – this is bound to have an impact on the players.

And as he makes sure the players understand his vision, his style of play and what he expects of them, I hope management and his technical team will support him.

That said, if Zizwe players are hungry enough they might come up tops irrespective of the new coach. And surely they’d want to impress their new coach – and everyone else – by progressing to the National First Division next season?

But what if the team falls to its knees again, will they recover and continue to participate in the Motsepe League again? I ask this because, year in year out we hear rumours that if it does not qualify, the owner will sell it. But in all such years, they came back and fought hard. That is why today they are playing in the play-offs once more. The owners have shown character and regrouped.

The team has the backing of many township people and as a township boy too, I sympathise with the owners and the followers. But if they decided not to come back because they have failed so much, I would understand. There is too much money involved in soccer. You pay personnel, players, transport, a muti man and sometimes officials are bribed. Yes, unfortunately this happens.

Should Zizwe lose their future will all come down to the issue of how much the team and the owners can take. As much as they have failed two times, they have been the most ambitious and consistent team in the ABC Motsepe League in the province.

The painful truth is that a club that wants so badly to be in the First National Division and go on to the Premier Soccer League should maybe not have let their coach go at such a crucial time.

I feel the contractual discussions came at the wrong time.

But, maybe this little hiccup will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Good Luck AbeZizwe!