The return of ABSA Premiership football has reinvigorated the lives of many, with the coaching, personnel and club ownership changes that we witnessed during the off-season, one cannot help but beam with optimism at what lies ahead in the 2016/17 season. This Season’s Guide is tailor-made to be a reference for you to gauge where your team ranks this season, as compared to 2015/16.
Ajax Cape Town Football Club
Nickname: The Urban Warriors
Chairman: Ari Efstathiou
Home Ground: Cape Town Stadium (55 000)
Head Coach: Roger De Sá
Captain: Travis Graham
2015/16 League Finish: 10th
2015/16 Leading Goalscorer: Prince Nxumalo | 13 League Goals
2015/16 Club Player Of The Season: Mosa Lebusa
Key Players To Watch: Rivaldo Coetzee | Travis Graham | Bantu Mzwakali
Young Guns To Watch: Mogamat May | Grant Margeman | Thomas Chideu
Squad Average Age: 24
Highest League Finish: 2nd (Runners-Up): 2003-04 | 2007-08 | 2010-11
MTN8: 2015 | Telkom Knockout: 2000 & 2008 | ABSA Cup: 2007
The Grand Stand View
If ever Ajax Cape Town were in need of one of their on-song seasons where it comes together more than it falls apart, it’s now; the club look in danger of wasting their perfect opportunity to build upon the great foundation laid by their prolific youth academy over the past few years. Roger De Sá has had to somewhat reinvent himself as a coach at Ajax, his more defensive approach and propensity to bank on established professionals has had to take a back seat to the Ajax ideology of playing attacking football with a team built on youth academy graduates. Therein may lie the rub, the team and their coach have been in a transitional phase for the past two seasons, it’s now time for the puzzle to come together, as they seek to notch more than the 9 wins they recorded last season.
A lack of consistency on both ends of the field led to the team drawing far too many games that they could and should have won, the lack of elite level experience in the team can only attribute for but so much of the blame for the lack of reliability in the standard of performances. One needs to only look at the make-up of the 2016/17 season squad to realise that the management team has addressed the lack of genuine quality players to supplement their potential laden youngsters, and help catapult them onto the next level. Even a good start by the Urban Warriors will be looked at with due caution, and justifiably so, after winning the MTN8 at the start of last season, they went off the boil and failed to live up to the previous season’s hype, where they finished 5th and showed signs of having what it takes to compete with the big dogs.
GSV Predicted Finish: 7th
Written By Mallele Chidi PeTje (@MCPeTjeIII)