ESWATINI FOOTBALL BECOMING MORE COMPETITIVE

ESWATINI FOOTBALL BECOMING MORE COMPETITIVE

The Ingwenyama Cup football tournament has gotten to a stage where it’s been reduced to just two odds, and both teams have just each other as a stumbling block to the coveted trophy. Very few would come out and claim for certain that they saw things panning out this way. I have to congratulate the finalists, and plead with the teams who were not so luck to get to the finals to use the opportunity to focus on other tournaments. As opposed to crying over missed chances and spent resources, it is useful to go back to the drawing boards, determine the weak points and turn them into one’s strength. From my experience, I have come to realise that losses are the best investments if teams are willing to learn from them. This is the price one pays for success. And it’s true whichever way you look at it. Let me explain; when you record back-to-back victories, everyone is plotting against you, literally using your performance as a standard to match. Sometimes you may remain at the top for a longer
time, while other times your dominance may be short-lived, everything depending on how good you are. Every time teams play against, you they are forced to work much hard to match the standard. They are forced to figure out your strong points so that they may try and foil these going forward. As they do this they are stretching themselves to levels of exertion that even they are not aware of. People do amazing things to survive; but in time they begin to
acclimatize. Depending how often teams play the best team on the land, they suddenly match the highest set
standards and very soon the margin is reduced. As the standard bearer, you may continue to win, depending on how dynamic you also are in your approach and maintaining the highest standards, but very soon the margin between scores is reduced. We have seen such trends happening in some of the most competitive leagues of the world. While La Liga has been dominated by just two clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, for a very long time, the British game
has seen different clubs dominating at different times. There was a time when Liverpool won every trophy on offer. They were soon overtaken by Manchester United, whose star has since dimmed, allowing Arsenal in the late 1990s and early 2000s to lead from the front. Manchester City have since become a force to reckon with during the Pep Guardiola era as he introduced the quick passing game from Barcelona, where he played and learnt his coaching ropes. As things stand in the British game, Liverpool seem on the verge to win the league, and perhaps beginning
another era of dominance after a long, long time in the doldrums. The English Premier League perfectly fits the description of a competitive league, where good teams move to the top, but do not spend too long there as competitors raise the game to match the standard. Too often, as they battle for survival, they begin to outdo even the standard bearer. The Premier League of Eswatini is beginning to have characteristics of a competitive football environment. If this is maintained, there is no limit in what can be achieved. As I advise the teams that have been eliminated from the Ingwenyama Cup to come to terms with the reflection in the mirror as a true report of where they stand, I would like to warn the teams that have made it to the final to represent Eswatini football like worthy finalists. It’s no longer about winning the trophy, but the standard of the game. They must prove that they are worthy finalists and make the fans feel they are getting their money’s worth. I would like to encourage all
football lovers to continue to support the tournament. Now that only two teams are left, let us all support them because in doing so we are supporting football. May I also commend Eswatini Bank for remaining committed to football in the country. This year’s Eswatini Bank Cup seems more exciting as it continues to maintain all three divisions; both the senior and junior male football competitions and the women division. As a football person, I would like to commend Eswatini Bank for not only supporting the elite teams, but both development and women football. Like the development game, women football is the future of the game. The more women folk get involved the most likely that our football will soon become a family affair. Big-ups Eswatini Bank!

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