YOUNG BUFFALOES ON THE CUSP OF GREATNESS

Young Buffaloes have raised their hand to be counted; pushing themselves to the cusp of legendary status when they won the Eswatini Bank for the third time in as many years. I want to congratulate them; and, in the same breadth salute Royal Leopards for getting so close to glory in a season where their form blew hot and cold. I know the pain of getting so near, and yet still fail to wrap your fingers around the coveted trophy. The greatness of getting to the final ebbs and fades away with the final whistle that announces the victor. This is one moment where sport
really hurts; as an also-ran, everyone seems to forget about you as they celebrate the champion. That is why I want to celebrate with both teams; Young Buffaloes for beating a team that deservedly got to the final and, for all intents and purposes, a team that was equally good on the afternoon; Royal Leopards for giving the champions a good run for their money, putting a good fight…so gallant a fight that the winner escaped with such a slim margin.
I want to celebrate with both teams for representing every football team so well, showing what at the time
was the best of our football. That the margin for victory was so narrow shows just how competitive the match was. Of course margins count for very little on the day of a final that opens one’s bank account to allow the inflow of millions; but, truth be told, there is no victor without an able contender. I always feel every team that wins
an important game, such as the EswatiniBank Cup, must celebrate with respect and honour the contender, as things could have easily gone the other way. I have seen fans torment the opposition, shouting all sorts of derogatory statements, suggesting that the other team was very poor to lose. It should never be that way. When your opponent succumbs to defeat, it is more like they have done you a favour. That’s just one way of looking at it. The other way of looking at it is that when your opponent loses, it’s testament to how good you are. Without them going down, you would not stand. In every football match, there always is a winner and a loser. Always. I have seen certain
teams celebrate draws; that means they have won. I have seen others go out of the field with their heads bowed down in shame after a draw; that means they have lost. That is why there are good draws and bad draws. Back to Young Buffaloes; the team stands on the cusp of achieving that rare feat of a double treble. A league win may seem impossible, but experience has taught us that nothing is impossible in football. I am almost wishing that they make
that final push and clinch the league as well; for the sake of history. But, it would fair for Leopards to win the league, having come so close to winning the cup. But football is never about fairness when it comes to the competition side of things. There are just no favours. If Buffaloes were ever to win the double this year, that would take a huge favour from the other contenders, who must lose to allow Buffaloes any chance of winning the league. And I just said there are no favours in football.

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