Consistency is key in football and GladAfrica Championship side Swallows FC can attest to this.
Based on reactions on social media, it would appear that some are surprised that the ‘Dube Birds’ are now top of the log on 54 points – on goal difference ahead of Ajax Cape Town.
In reality, however, Swallows FC have been rewarded for their consistency, especially before the lockdown forced on the country and indeed the world, because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Brandon Truter’s boys have lost just one of their last 10 games (winning 7 and drawing the other two). In fact, between December last year and January, they won 5 games in a row, which is unheard of in the GladAfrica Championship which is a tough league to compete in.
It’s such an unpredictable League that Uthongathi, who at one stage were top of the log, drew 10 games in a row, before going down 1-0 against Tshakhuma on Wednesday.
In comparison, Ajax have been slated for blowing their lead to allow Swallows to go top with one match remaining. The remaining fixtures are scheduled for Sunday.
Ajax, on the other hand, have lost 3 of their last 5 games, including to Swallows FC. The wheels have come off for the Urban Warriors and they will lament the fact that it has come at a very crucial stage with just one match remaining.
Perhaps you could put down their inconsistency to the fact that they parted ways with coach Andries Ulderink, pictured below, earlier this year, at a time when they appeared well on course to win the title and return to the topflight.
With Calvin Marlin at the helm, Ajax have struggled to get going.
But don’t write off Ajax just yet.
The difference between Swallows FC and the Western Cape outfit is goal difference. Swallows are on 11+ and Ajax, in turn, have 10+.
It would make for a fascinating finish on Sunday, with Swallows taking on Tshakhuma, who are now guaranteed a place in the PlayOffs in third place, while Ajax will battle it out against Mbombela, who are 13th and in some way, safe from the dreaded drop to the ABC Motsepe League.
Mbombela, with 32 points, have a goal difference of 0, while 14th placed Jomo Cosmos have 30 points, but with a goal difference of -13 and in 15th, TS Sporting have 29 points, with a goal difference of -9.
Bottom side Royal Eagles are already relegated.
Both Cosmos and TS Sporting will need to win by huge scores to stand a chance of dragging Mbombela to the relegation quagmire.
The battle is as interesting at the top as it is at the bottom.
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By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa