Thu. May 23rd, 2019

PSL: The oldest clubs in South Africa’s top flight

oldest psl clubsWe are counting down from the youngest to the oldest PSL clubs currently playing in the top flight

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The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is relatively new, but some of the clubs currently in it are way older than the league itself.

Back in 1996, the National Soccer League (NSL) made way for the PSL which, in its inaugural season, was won by Manning Rangers – a now-defunct club from Durban, formed in 1928.

Since then, six more clubs have enjoyed top honours in the league – five of them still in the top tier of South African soccer.

Starting with the newbies, we are counting down (or up) from the youngest to the oldest PSL clubs currently in the top flight.

Cape Town City

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Cape Town City FC chairman John Cimitis being interviewed. Photo:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Founded: 2016

Club chairman: John Comitis, Michel Comitis

In human terms, Cape Town City are still toddlers in the PSL but have already bagged two trophies since the club was founded in 2016.

An earlier incarnation of the club – complete with samilar colours – existed in the 1960s, and was resurrected when the Comitis brothers bought Mpumalanga Black Aces, jumping straight into the top flight on their first seasn, where they finished an impressive third.

Polokwane City

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Jabulani Maluleke of Polokwane City celebrates scoring a free kick pass Darren Keet of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Polokwane City and Bidvest Wits at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 20 January 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Founded: 2012

Club chairman: Johnny Mogaladi

Polokwane City is another club which came into existence following the dissolution of another outfit.

Rise and Shine came into being when the Mogaladi family bought Port Elizabeth-based Bay United, which had been relegated from the PSL in 2010.

Chippa United

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Chippa United players celebrate a goal.

Founded: 2010

Club chairman: Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi

Chippa United was formed when businessman Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi purchased Mbekweni Cosmos from Paarl, and the club began life in the Mother City, gaining promotion from the third tier to the first division in its second year of existence.

The Chilli Boys spent just one season in the second tier before being promoted to the PSL in 2012.

In 2014 the club relocated to Port Elizabeth, where it currently operates with Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as its home ground.

Baroka FC

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POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 25: Matome Mabeba of Baroka FC celebrate after scoring a goal during the Telkom Knockout, Semi Final match between Baroka FC and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Polokwane, South Africa. (Photo by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

Founded: 2007

Club chairman: Khurishi Mphahlele

Unlike City, Baroka have had to climb up to the big time the conventional way, and it’s been a remarkable rise, considering that the club was only formed in 2007.

Highlands Park

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 06: Owen da Gama (Head Coach of Highlands Park FC) and players celebrate with the trophy the National First Division match between Stellenbosch FC and Highlands Park at Athlone Stadium on May 06, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Founded: 2003

Club chairman: Larry Brookstone

Highlands Park is another club which existed in yesteryear.

The original version of the club was formed in 1959 before being dissolved in 1983 after it was bought by Orlando Pirates legend Jomo Sono, who used the franchise to form Dion Cosmos – later known as Jomo Cosmos.

There was a short-lived reincarnation in the early 90s, but the club was once again resurrected in 2003 – eventually making the big time in 2016, but was relegated in its first season in the top flight, only to return after a year.

Supersport United

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Grant Kekana of Supersport United (r) celebrates goal with teammate Aubrey Modiba during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at the Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria on the 17 April 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Founded: 1994

Chairman: Khulu Sibiya

Supersport United was formed when the broadcast giant of the same name bought Pretoria City in 1994.

The club has gone on to become one of the most successful outfits locally, winning three league titles. Only the traditional “big three” of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns have won more.

Black Leopards

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Mwape Musonda of Black Leopards celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Nedbank Cup match between Black Leopards and Orlando Pirates at Thohoyandou Stadium, Venda on 26 January 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Founded: 1983

Chairman: David Thidiela

Black Leopards first made an entry into the top flight in the 2001/2002 season, but the club had been around since the early 1980s.

Maritzburg United

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PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 12: Yannick Zakri of Maritzburg Utd on the ball during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Black Leopards at Harry Gwala Stadium on December 12, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Founded: 1979

Club chairman: Farouk Kadodia

Maritzburg United have been around since 1979, only gaining promotion into the top flight in 2005.

Free State Stars

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 19: Sthembiso Dlamini of Free State Stars celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Nedbank Cup, Final match between Maritzburg United and Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

Founded: 1977

Club chairman: Mike Mokoena

The Bethlehem-based outfit has gone through a couple of name changes, first starting off as Makwane Computer Stars in 1977, and later known as the legendary Qwa Qwa Stars.

In 2002 the club rebranded as Free State Stars, and regained promotion into the PSL three years later.

Mamelodi Sundowns

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Emiliano Tade of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 TOTAL CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Asec Mimosas at the Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria on the 01 February 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Founded: 1970

Club chairman: Patrice Motsepe

In terms of league titles in the PSL era, Mamelodi Sundowns are the most successful clubs in the land with no less than eight, and are a fair shot away from a record ninth.

The club was formed in 1970 and has gone on to attain unprecedented success, and is one of only two South African outfits to earn a star on its crest via winning the Caf Champions League.

Kaizer Chiefs

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Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung (left) welcomes new coach Ernst Middendorp (middle), alongside football manager Bobby Motaung (right). Photo: Kaizer Chiefs / Twitter.

Founded: 1970

Club chairman: Kaizer Motaung

When legendary Orlando Pirates striker Kaizer Motaung returned from a stint in the United States – where he represented a club by the name of Atlanta Chiefs – he would change the face of South African soccer forever.

On 7 January 1970, Kaizer Chiefs was formed and would go on to form a fierce rivalry with “Chincha Guluva’s” old club – also going on to become the country’s most successful club with 53* major trophies.

Bloemfontein Celtic

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General view of fans during the 2016 Premier Soccer League match between Chippa United and Bloemfontein Celtic held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on the 25th October 2016 Photo by: Richard Huggard / Real Time Images

Founded: 1969

Club chairman: Max Tshabalala

All indications are that the end of Bloemfontein Celtic as we know it is drawing close, but the club is one of the older club currently operating in the PSL.

Phunya Sele Sele was founded by Norman Mathobisa and Victor Mahatane, and has had several owners in its 50 years, including Dr Petrus Molemela and ex-player Jimmy Augousti.

Lamontville Golden Arrows

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Wayde Jooste of Golden Arrows celebrates goal with team mates during the Premiership match between Baroka FC and Golden Arrows at New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. Photo: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Founded: 1943

Club chairman: Mato Madlala

Abafana Besthende may have one top flight trophy to show for their troubles, but the club sure has been around.

Golden Arrows’ finest moment came in 2009 when they routed Ajax Cape Town in the 2009 MTN 8 final, winning 6-0 to claim their only piece of silverware to date.

Orlando Pirates

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Orlando Pirates Fans during the CAF Champions League match between Orlando Pirates and Esperance 02 February 2019 at Orlando Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Founded: 1937

Club chairman: Dr Irvin Khoza

Formed in 1937 as the Orlando Boys Club, “Ezimnyama Ngenkani” came to be known as Pirates later.

The club is among the most successful in the country, with a vast list of honours, including the 1995 African Champions League title.

To date, the Buccaneers have won four* PSL titles, and are in pole position to add to that number at the end of the 2018/19 season.

AmaZulu

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Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu FC celebrates his goal with Phumlani Gumede of AmaZulu FC during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between AmaZulu FC and Golden Arrows at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban on 22 December 2018 ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Founded: 1932

Club chairman: Patrick Sokhela

AmaZulu are one of the oldest clubs still in existence, and have one league title – which came in 1972 – to boast about.

The club has gone through a lot of rebounding over the years, and have sported names such as Zulu Royal Conquerers and Zulu Royals.

Bidvest Wits

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Bidvest Wits winners of the 2017 Telkom Knockout final football match between Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic at Princess Magogo Stadium, Durban on 02 December 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Founded: 1921

Club chairman: Alfred Da Costa

Closing in on a century is the PSL’s oldest club Bidvest Wits, which was formed by university students in Johannesburg back in 1921.

For decades, the club operated as Wits University, and has produced a number of legendary players including former Manchester United and England goalkeeper Gary Bailey.

In its 96th year of existence, Wits claimed its first ever league title, emerging triumphant in the 2016/17 season under coach Gavin Hunt.

*The figure is correct as of 22 April 2019′

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