Opinion-Football championship is a marathon not a sprint…


Current league leaders La Passe have made a positive start where on home soil they are more or less winning maximum points. Most teams playing away find it very tough to break them down in front of their spectators at the La Digue playing field. But the concern is, will La Passe again lose their shape and form at the last hurdle as it has happened several times in the past?

Côte d'Or, the surprised package of last season, have continued from where they left off with impressive results. The Praslin-based team have invested well and their Malagasy contingent – especially the menacing and stylish Jean Tigana – is really spearheading the team. Also their noisy supporters are giving them that extra push.

I do personally feel that Côte d'Or, with more consistency in their approach, can put up a fight for the league crown and why not take the first division title to Praslin for the very first time…
The country's most prestigious football club, St Michel, who lie fifth on the current league standings, have had a slow start to their own high standard. Their football has certainly lacked the spark. We are yet to see the fast and flowing football which they are reputed for.

With Ralph Jean-Louis back for a second spell as head coach, I believe they have enough quality and experience to bounce back to winning ways and when they are on a good run, they are so difficult to be stopped.

St Michel have to get things right back on track now if they are seriously thinking of retaining the league title.
Cliff Nolin's Northern Dynamo and newly promoted The Lions have also been making life difficult for some bigger teams so far. Both teams have made a bright start. It will be interesting to see where they will end up when the season ends.

Dynamo's Marcus Maria has really stood out this season. Certainly the bigger clubs are keeping an eye on him.
A lot of expectations lie on the shoulders of the St Louis players who want to do better this season. Their faithful fans are craving for success on a regular basis. Again, it remains to be seen if they can go one far better under Michel Renaud.

The other La Digue representative, Anse Reunion, have had a disappointing start and already coach Juel Ah-Kong is feeling the pressure.

With the departure of the diminutive playmaker Hassan Ali to St Michel, they are short of options to unlock the opposition’s defence.

St Roch, on their day, can cause an upset and avoiding play-off or automatic relegation will be more or less a satisfying season for them.

St Francis and LightStars, on their part, have been very poor and I see both potential candidates for the drop if they don’t redress now. Surely a massive job on their hands!
Will La Passe or Côte d'Or wrestle the title away from St Michel? The marathon has already started!

Derek Pothin

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