John Maduka Confident Royal AM Can Avoid Relegation Dogfight With 2 Games Remaining This Season

John Maduka Confident Royal AM Can Avoid Relegation Dogfight With 2 Games Remaining This Season

Byron Pillay
May 16, 2024 at 9:23 AM
In this article:
South Africa First League logo
ZA First League
South Africa
Richards Bay logo
Richards Bay
South Africa
Royal AM FC
Cape Town City FC logo
Cape Town City FC
South Africa
Stellenbosch FC logo
Stellenbosch FC
South Africa
Moroka Swallows FC logo
Moroka Swallows FC
South Africa
Chippa United logo
Chippa United
South Africa
  • Royal AM are two points above the relegation zone, with two games to play this season
  • John Maduka is confident in his side's ability to survive the drop in the DStv Premiership
  • Cape Town Spurs finished bottom of the league table and have been officially relegated

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Royal AM have two games to save themselves from the dreaded relegation promotion play-offs.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit are two points above Richards Bay on the table, with the Natal Rich Boys occupying that spot.

John Maduka's Royal AM side are sitting just above the relegation zone in the DStv Premiership.
John Maduka is confident that his Royal AM side can avoid being dragged into the relegation/ promotion play-off spot this season. Image: @iDiskiTimes.
Source: Twitter

Thwihli Thwahla have already lost 15 of their 28 games this season, but coach John Maduka is confident they can still do enough to avoid dropping into the relegation zone, Sowetan LIVE reported.

"We are positive that we are not going to go to the play-offs. The players have been talking about it to say, 'We don't want to play in the playoffs'. It takes a lot out of you,” he said.

How do the relegation play-offs work?

The relegation and promotion structure in the Premier Soccer League is not as straightforward as in some other leagues.

Firstly, the team that finishes last in the DStv Premiership is automatically relegated and replaced by the winners of the Motsepe Foundation Championship (National First Division).

Cape Town Spurs are heading down this season and will be replaced by Magesi FC.

The 15th-place team in the DStv Premiership is not automatically relegated; instead, it competes in a play-off round-robin tournament against the second and third-placed teams in the first division, the PSL noted.

University of Pretoria, Baroka FC, JDR Stars, Maritzburg United and Upington City are all still in contention for those two spots.

Who Royal AM face next

Shauwn Mkhize’s side have an advantage in that they are two points ahead of Richards Bay.

Thwihli Thwahla take on Chippa United in their next fixture before ending the season against Moroka Swallows.

They have to match or better Richards Bay’s results in those games to secure survival.

Their fellow KZN side must take on Cape Town City before playing Stellenbosch in their final fixture. Stellies are chasing CAF Champions League qualification, which will be no easy task.

Maduka isn’t focused on what their rivals need to do and is instead keeping his players focused on their job at hand.

"Our thinking is positive. Our fate is still in our hands... we have two games to play. We can't wait for other teams to do us favours. It's all up to us,” he added.

Maduka praises Andile Mpisane

Sports Brief reported that Maduka is confident Andile Mpisane can break into the Royal AM first team’s starting lineup.

The 21-year-old, who is the club’s chairman, has drawn criticism from fans for his performances for the DStv Diski Challenge team.

Maduka defended the chairman, saying that he was young and talented and had the potential and that no one could deny that.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
DStv Premiership