Connect with us


PSL Season Reviews: Part 1 (Team A – C)

And it’s a warp – the 2023/24 PSL season has come to an end. Sundowns were runaway winners in the league securing a 14th title and seventh in a row.


And it’s a warp – the 2023/24 PSL season has come to an end. Sundowns were runaway winners in the league securing a 14th title and seventh in a row. While the title was confirmed on 2 May with six games to go, they (in hindsight) had enough points after 20 games. They added the African Super League for a two-trophy haul this season. Orlando Pirates finished 2nd in the league but got one over The Brazilians by beating them to the MTN8 & Nedbank Cups. It is time for our annual look back at all 16 top-flight teams participating in a four-part series. Part 1 focuses on Teams A to C.


Last season: 12th

This season: 11th

Points swing from last season: +3

Of the four teams covered in Part 1, AmaZulu are the only team that did not make any managerial changes throughout the season. One would expect that to translate into some consistency on the field, but it just did not happen for Pablo Franco. We could focus on inconsistency as the key theme for AmaZulu (only once this season did, they win back-to-back games), but that is a symptom of the problem. The number of draws is another symptom that first showed when AmaZulu opened the season with three 0-0 draws. They should have tried beating some other teams really and getting no wins from 4 games against Cape Town Spurs & Richards Bay (P4 W0 D2 L2) should be ca use for concern. 

12 – AmaZulu drew 12 games this season, the joint-most of all teams (Polokwane City also 12)

Cape Town City

Last season: 4th

This season: 5th

Points swing from last season: 0

Eric Tinkler celebrated the victory over Sundowns on the final day as if it brought much more than three points. For one thing, his reputation ended in better shape than it was just a month back when City were still looking for their first win of the year. It took them 10 games in 2024 to get a first win, and that’s where their season unraveled. Just two wins in that run would have taken them up to second. Ultimately, they end the season with the same win-draw-loss ratio & points total as last season – perhaps a representation of some unfulfilled potential. Equally, the win over Sundowns may frustrate Tinkler, as it was a reminder of the levels his team is capable of, but somehow couldn’t reach for the better part of the season. When he looks back, the six-game winning run in November/December will be yet another reminder of what could have been. 

1 – City are the only team to beat Sundowns this season, the only team to prevent them from scoring, and the only team to dislodge them from the top of the table since mid-August.

Cape Town Spurs

Last season: 1st division

This season: 16th

Points swing from last season: N/A

Spurs looked destined for a relegation battle for most of the first half of 2023/24. The mid-season appointment of Ernst Middendorp steadied the ship a bit at first, but even his experience couldn’t cover the shortfalls in the squad. The woeful start didn’t help, but management will look at the March international break as when the newly found momentum ran out. Only Sundowns won more points than Spurs between January and that break. But then a run of four defeats in four with no goals proved fatal. Crucially that run happened just before what was billed as a relegation playoff with Richards Bay. Spurs won that game, but only five games were left by then, with 5 points still to make up. Their struggles this season show that even if you make it into the top-flight, the threat of relegation still rears up at you at some point unless you start positively.

8 – Cape Town Spurs became the first side in top-flight history to lose each of their first eight season-opening games and set a new PSL record for the lowest points total by a team halfway through a 30-game season (4 pts).


Last season: 5th

This season: 10th

Points swing from last season: -8

A cursory glance at the table will show Chiefs ended in 10th position, and you don’t need an expert to point out that is a mediocre season. Looking deeper, Amakhosi were closer to the bottom (13 points gap) than they were to the top (38 points gap). It’s the fifth time in nine seasons this has happened, but the first time it has happened in back-to-back campaigns. Before 2015/16, that never happened even once. The 38-point difference behind Sundowns is also their biggest-ever distance from a winning team. Not only does 10th represent their lowest-ever finishing position (10th), but this was also the fewest goals scored (25) and the joint lowest points total (36) for a Chiefs side in PSL history. They won just two league games in the second half of the season (P15 W2 D7 L6), and the fact that they have won the fewest points of all teams this year (12) brings the point home even harder.

-8 – Chiefs (36) ended with eight fewer points than they had last season (44), the biggest drop by any team (Swallows also 8 fewer).

More in PSL