Few football clubs can claim to have entertained us more than the Kostadin Papić led Polokwane City F.C have done during the course of last season, a team that many called a shoe-in for relegation in the season past punched well above their weight while playing an attacking brand of football that earned them numerous new supporters across the Mzansi Diski fraternity.
Since their inception in 2012, Rise and Shine have been a football club entrenched in that Polokwane football culture that oozed out of Ria Stars; the desire to play great attacking football with goals and exuberant celebrations has been burning within Limpopo football fans since their beloved Manyora were disbanded and sold in 2002, now there is a beacon of light they can look to in their own province and fervently support for playing football in the manner they admire and missed. The fans have shown their appreciation for what the club has achieved in such as short span of time; they have also shown great adoration for the brand of football played as well as the new faces the club has introduced to Mzansi Diski, there is immense scope for growth within the ever expanding following as more fans begin to see just how purposeful the club truly is.
We can state that the club is in a much healthier place with him at the helm, but we cannot laud all of the credit onto their current gaffer without giving special commendation to the entire management team and chairman Johnny Mogaladi out in Polokwane and the great aptitude they have shown in their application towards building this football club and establishing it as an organization worth wanting in the top tier of our football league structure. The results cannot lie, a club that won direct promotion from the NFD within two seasons and challenged for a Top 8 spot in their second PSL season playing the great brand of football they have, with a squad built on a budget that pays the monthly wage bill of many of their league rivals, is deserving of all they are on the cusp of achieving as an organization.
Now that the hard work has been done, the club can now build on this solid ideology they continue to develop for themselves; an ethos is pivotal to the longevity of a football club as it allows them to set their expectations in relation to what they are truly looking to achieve in all they do. The gaffer is rumoured to have been offered a contract extension and key players like Cole Alexander and Puleng Tlolane could be retained if the club push on and ensure that the failures of the seasons past are heeded and the squad is reinforced with the calibre of players capable of executing the playing ideology while achieving the necessary results as well. There have been a number of players released or allowed to move onto other clubs while some really talented players have been added to the squad already, the potential of Randy Ngobe is known to some within the realm and if the signings of a players like him, Punch Masenamela and Nazier Jacobs are anything to go by, Rise and Shine could be well on their way to adding some true shine to their marvellous rise.
Without possessing the most fearsome attacking unit in the league by any stretch of the imagination, Polokwane City managed to score the 3rd highest amount of goals during (42) the past campaign, behind Mamelodi Sundowns (44) and Orlando Pirates (46); the defensive acumen of the side is what has been in question since their promotion and it has come as no surprise to see the name of a player like former skipper Thapelo Tshilo amongst those heading out of the club as they seek to rebuild their team on a far more solid and stable foundation. The team conceded 60 goals in 30 league games and often negated the potency of their offensive unit by shooting themselves in the foot and dropping points in games their play dictated they should have taken more from; yet the fact that they shipped in the highest number of goals in the league by 13 and still managed to finish 6 points shy of a Top 8 spot speaks volumes of the potential within the organization as a whole.
Although it’s worth noting that Kosta truly overachieved with what he had last season, as he won 31 of City’s 34 points during his 25 games in charge, a significantly increased level of investment into the club could result in a Top 8 spot plus some great cup runs added to the great attacking performances on display from the entertaining men from The North. We at GSV would like to applaud Polokwane City for the entertainment and value they continue to provide while also wishing them all the best in their future quest to add more rise and even more shine to their ever growing brand.