Richards Bay defender Katleho Maphathe says it’s not a mistake for them to be just behind DStv premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns on the log table. But that retaining their status is what’s most important to the club right now. The Natal Rich Boys were promoted to the DStv premiership after winning the First Division Championship last season.
In 2020/21 season, the Kwa-Zulu Natal based club came close to making their first DStv premiership appearance, but they lost their play-offs matches and Chippa United retained their status in the top division. However, the following season Richards Bay won the National First Division league and with 54 points they were promoted to the PSL.
After winning the First Division Championship Richards Bay beefed up their squad with the likes of Abel Mabaso, Nkanyiso Zungu and Luvuyo Mamela who left AmaZulu after his contract ended with the club. Currently, the Natal Rich Boys are second in the DStv premiership after playing thirteen matches, winning six of them, drawing five and having lost only two matches. Mamelodi Sundowns and Richards Bay are the only two teams who have only lost two league games thus far.
Maphathe wants his team to continue where they left off before the World Cup break. The Natal Rich Boys are already back in training to prepare for the second round of the DStv premiership.
“Our plan [is] still the same, we want to continue where we left. But now we have more energy because we know now that teams study us and they know all about us. All [the] teams want to beat us now but we will show them we [are] not number two by mistake,” Maphathe told ThisIsFootball.Africa.
Maphathe, who is the captain of Richards Bay, believes the experience of the players who joined the team from their DStv premiership rivals have helped them a lot. The 29-year-old says retaining their DStv premiership status is first prize because they are newbies in the league.
“Their experience helps us because they even push us at training and obviously in the games. What I like about them they [are] very humble that’s why we always listen to them when they talk to us.
“Top eight is [a] bonus for us, but as you can see how things are now, we are on number two position, so we want to keep ourselves in the top eight, but first of all what we want it to keep the status,” he concluded.
Richards Bay will welcome a Swallows FC that’s fighting in the relegation zone at King Zwelithini stadium at 15:30 on Saturday, 31 December.
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