Thanda Royal Set To Return To The Top Flight

Thanda Royal Set To Return

National First Division (NFD) log leaders Thanda Royal Zulu could clinch automatic promotion to the Premier League should they beat second-placed Stellenbosch FC at home tonight.

Even a draw would be enough should Black Leopards fail to achieve a victory in their tough away trip to Royal Eagles.

Coach Roger Sikhakhane’s charges have won 10 times and drawn three times in their 13 home games this season.

For Sikhakhane, achieving the elite league status would be a personal triumph, having previously gained promotion with Chippa United but not given a fair crack in the Premier League.

Thanda were last in the top flight in the 2008-2009 season and have faced a number of relegation scares from the NFD since then but managed to hold on to their status.

At the foot of the table, former Premier Soccer League champions Santos could follow Moroka Swallows into near-oblivion with relegation to the ABC Motsepe League.

Santos won the Premier League under Gordon Igesund in the 2000-2001 season. They were also winners of the Bob Save Super Bowl in 2001, BP Top Eight in 2002 and Absa Cup in 2003.

But those days are long gone. They have been in steady decline since their relegation from the top flight in 2011-2012.

They are currently eight points from the safety zone with four matches to play. But their relegation could be confirmed this week should Milano United win at home against AmaZulu and they then don’t get a win at home to Jomo Cosmos today.

Swallows’ demise is just about complete. Whether Santos could return from the depths of the third tier and be a force again is a big question.

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