Richards Bay to give their all to stay in top flight

Richards Bay chairman Sfiso ‘Jomo’ Biyela speaks to the supporters and his players after their final game of the DStv Premiership season. | BackpagePix

Richards Bay chairman Sfiso ‘Jomo’ Biyela speaks to the supporters and his players after their final game of the DStv Premiership season. | BackpagePix

Published May 27, 2024


Smiso Msomi

RICHARDS Bay owner Jomo Biyela has drawn positives in a largely difficult season and has full confidence in his team’s ability to win a football match against any side in the country.

The Natal Rich Boyz have three more games to define their 2022/23 DStv premiership campaign as they head for the promotion/relegation play-offs.

Biyela made an unfamiliar on-field appearance after Richards Bay’s win over Stellenbosch and restored full confidence in his team’s ability to retain their top-flight status.

Coach of Richards Bay Vusumuzi Vilakazi. | BackpagePix

“We’re about to venture into a journey we’ve never been a part of, but I know we have the team to compete against anyone, you name them – Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, etc,” he said.

The KwaZulu-Natal-based side was hoping to drag provincial counterparts Royal AM into the 15th spot on the final day but they failed as Thwihli Thwahla won their game against Moroka Swallows.

Bay coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi and his group will now face the tricky process of attempting to avoid relegation through a play-off series against the University of Pretoria and Baroka.

The play-offs will be played between June 2 and 19 in a round-robin format that will see all three sides play each other home and away.

With Magesi FC having claimed their spot in next season’s DStv Premiership season by winning the Motsepe Foundation Championship, the wait is now on to see which side becomes the 16th side in the top flight.

Richards Bay are looking to make it a third successive season in the top flight and entrusted that responsibility to Vilakazi in December, when he took over from Kaitano Tembo.

The 41-year-old mentor spoke to the media in uMlazi after his side’s win and said he feels his group has embraced the accountability factor of ensuring the livelihoods of everyone associated with the club.

“I’ve been working on that ever since I got here, I’ve been making them (players) aware how important it is to save the team. When you look at the number of people working at Richards Bay, we have about 50, and that means we’re feeding more families with those 50 people,” he said.

“We can’t let that opportunity just pass us like that, so we need to work hard and the nice thing is if we work hard enough, then we’ll retain the status.

“We just need to keep reinstalling that in their minds but, with the potential and the commitment, I can’t doubt them because in the last seven games we’ve been competing strongly. If we can have that attitude going to Baroka and Tuks, I believe we can be victorious.”

Biyela touched down at the King Zwelithini Stadium after the game and addressed both the players and supporters after their match against Stellies.

The tone of his speech was one of gratitude for their contributions throughout the season and he urged everyone associated with the club to stay united ahead of their ‘final hurdle’.

“The chairman was very realistic and did well to thank these boys because he saw how deep they dug to avoid automatic relegation and now the topic is no longer about avoiding relegation but rather fighting to stay in the top flight,” said Vilakazi.

Related Topics:

dstv premiershipsoccer