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Mon, Aug

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A new image of pro league Football is about to challenge the shortcomings of the previous seasons. It is useful to review the past season in order to recognize the problems which existed, and search for methods of correction.

We are all aware that professional leagues across the world will not easily find financial success and high quality standard of play in the early stages of its existence. Clearly, our lovers of the sport must demonstrate some level of tolerance and patience before seeing the results which are expected. It may be difficult to ask sports fans to give maximum support to mediocre performances and unstable administrative policies.

Unfortunately, the basis upon which the game will elevate, stems from the amount of financial support of the organization. While the motivation of the eager players will surely come from the rewards emanating from their pay packets, the task of each team is dependent upon the salary scale, the gate receipts, and of course, a well coached bunch of players whose intentions are focused on committment, dedication and love for the team they represent.

Honestly, only a few of the teams demonstrate the type of ingredients which are needed to produce an excellent group. Its not difficult to see how players change clubs each year and sometimes even in midseason, mainly because they are in search of more money or because they do not wish to devote the time and effort which is requested by the coaches.. Like previous seasons, this one starts with a bang, with sponsors tossing their hats in the ring, based on the promises of a better season than the previous one.

A new broom sweeps clean and those of us who still believe that a better quality of Football is still in the making for our young stars, will display patience. A format change by the authorities may have been caused by the commitments of the national teams during the year, with players being asked to serve two masters, each wanting their pound of flesh. No doubt, there is merit in sticking with the principle of giving a good day’s pay for a good day’s work, with the ultimate result of profits, whether in quality of play, or attracting more fans at the matches.

With some new teams coming into the league, the task of finding many quality players throughout the country will surely be more difficult. Already we have seen the exodus of players from one team including coaches gnawing at the doors of other clubs, all in search of a decent pay package. The insecurity of such a situation is probably what makes the enthusiasm of players short of full commitment, especially when many of these players have experienced late payment of salaries from time to time.

The most exciting part of the league is that the past years have seen certain clubs retaining what is a true reflection of professionalism, accompanied by excellent management, good behaviour and full commitment by their players. W Connection leads the way in this regard and whether they win or lose the championship, their approach to developing a strong programme should be followed by some of the others who tend to walk a wobbly road in search of success.

And while all this talk about the economic depression may have had its effect on some clubs, the challenge for building teams on a formidable coaching staff, player discipline, and a solid form of unity among the entire groups, will be the task ahead. It was good to hear the league officials claim that they have a commitment from the referees this coming season, after they were responsible for a number of matches not playing on the scheduled days because they were not paid.

Surely there is need to pay the refs, as sure as there is the need for these referees to understand that communication and some form of compromise with the officials can create a brighter picture to the fans, the media, and of course, to the image of the game as a whole. The fans often have to tolerate substandard performances from some referees, but they display good tolerance levels and continue to support the game. We are all in this together and whatever we think about the players, the authorities, the referees and even the fans, the duty is ours to work towards changing the course of mediocrity towards a more productive state.

Support whichever you wish ! feel free to urge on the players ! criticize their quality of play if you so desire ! but for heaven sake, give the league your support, and who knows how far this may provide a better environment for improvement . Remember, we are using these same players (some of them) to take us to South Africa, hence the reason why we should make them understand that they have our support.