06/04/2012 3:49 AM
Straight out of the First National Division as Champions Black Leopards where the most joyous team Limpopo has ever had. New beginnings and dreams of elite football had just fallen into our palms.
As the champions of the First Division, the team was automatically promoted to the Absa Premiere Soccer League and entered into the African Confederations Cup. It was a new beginning and we had to prepare for the bigger stage. Beefing up the squad was the first option we took to make sure we can compete in the PSL.
July 2011 was the month the team signed the likes of Posnett Omony, Kingston Nkatha, Bafana Sibeko and amongst all the positives we gained the use of World Class Stadium Peter Mokaba as our home ground. All seemed to be falling in place as we were preparing for a stating return to the PSL when a partnership with Radio Station Capricorn FM made us a complete team with media partners as well.
Come August as the league kicked-off we began with a slow start losing our 2 opening matches against Pirates and Celtics but we showed character with our first win against Golden Arrows. Our players seemed to get settled but things did not go our way as we battled between draws and some losses and bowed out of the Telkom Knockout competition.
It was time to re-group and change our strategy as we welcomed Coach Heric Vladislav as the new leader as Sunday Chidzambwa settled in our internal structures. KAPPA came on board with the team as our new sponsor; this promised to be the turnaround intervention. Indeed it was, as we fuelled the team to start with a 1-0 win over AmaZulu away from home. By the time December 2011 approached the team did not look bad at all but we were fighting to climb the ladder out of the relegation zone.
2012 began with us adding on players to our team. Itumeleng Duiker and Zvenyika Makonese came on board to oil the machine that was already running. 2012 January 15 kicked off and the team still trying to gel had a muddy start with a few loses but indicated champion spirit as we gave all that we have. We took Africa by storm and progressed to the second round of the CAF Cup going through Motor Action of Zimbabwe.
The good times were rolling again as we took on 3 different competitions at one time and progressed steadily through all of them (Nedbank cup, CAF Cup and the PSL). In the league we were back to our winning ways with wins over Supersport United and Maritzburg United. All went well in the CAF as we wooped Saint Eloi Lupopo of DRC Congo in the CAF competition as the team’s Chairman Mr David Thidiela emphasised that the team is making him proud.
The joy of winning did not stop there as the month of April progressed, seeing the team beat Santos and even Kaizer Chiefs to take maximum points. The team took a knock when our hard fought efforts went down the drain in a defeat against Chiefs to bow out of the Nedbank Cup. Being knocked out of the Nedbank only pushed the team to its peak as we took out Warri Wolves in the CAF Confederations to enter into the last 16 level of the competition.
As the Absa Premiere League drew to a close it was nail biting action as the team collected valuable points against Wits. It was do or die after we shared the spoils with Jomo Cosmos and had to win by all costs against Ajax Cape Town to secure a spot in the PSL. We are champion material and we definitely showed it by thumping Ajax 3-1 to avoid relegation or play-offs. Lidoda Duvha is the slogan and yes the team is still in the top flight of the PSL and still to participate in the last 16 of the CAF Confederations Cup. A standing ovation and a round of applause is what this team deserves and the fruits of hard work are being enjoyed as the team is more than happy.