news / Swallows News
With the long-haul season in mind, Absa and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) launched the 10-month Absa Premiership season with a symbolic 'endurance challenge', that signifies the strategy, tactics and teamwork required by a team to finish the long season with the most points.
The Absa Premiership Launch 'Endurance Challenge' saw 16 teams, representing the 16 Absa Premiership clubs, applying strategy and teamwork to outplay each other in the challenge. Each team comprised representatives of the 16 clubs' technical and marketing administrators, members of the media, Absa staff and PSL sponsors and suppliers.
The challenge involved the 16 teams travelling in 16 vehicles, which made their way from point to point around Johannesburg, receiving instructions and tasks to complete at each stop, until they reached the final venue at lunch-time.
The Endurance Challenge ended in Soweto, where all official announcements regarding the 2008/09 Absa Premiership season were made.
On welcoming the teams at the PSL offices earlier in the day, PSL CEO Kjetil Siem said: "We are really excited to see the enthusiasm amongst those present today. It sets the tone for the rest of the season.
"We had a great Absa Premiership campaign last season and we hope to build on that for the upcoming league campaign," added the CEO.
Absa Executive Director, Happy Ntshingila said: "After a break in the season, we welcome the 16 teams participating in the 2008/09 Absa Premiership back to do what they do best, which is playing football. A special welcome also to the two teams who gained promotion to the Absa Premiership, Bay United and Maritzburg United. Many teams have new players, new coaches, quite a few have refreshed their brand image, and all of this newness creates an air of excitement.
"On behalf of Absa, proud sponsors of the Premier Soccer League and the Absa Premiership, I wish you all the best for the coming season. I encourage you, at every decision, at every corner, at the start of every match, even on days when you are off the field, to put your best foot forward.
"Being crowned the league champions and earning the title 'Absa Premiership Champions', is an honour and a prestige that all teams must want to fight for. Let's bring back the glory days of playing for honour. With the R10-million winners' prize, and total prize pot of R29,4-million, I have no doubt that money is a motivator and an enabler, but let us play for honour. Let's play for our supporters, for our communities, for our country," he concluded.
New incentives introduced by Absa include:
- Coach of the Month Award, in recognition of outstanding performance by one of the 16 coaches each month
- The Absa Premiership Young Player Award, with R50,000 to be handed out at the end of the season in recognition of a red-hot talented young player
- The Absa Premiership Supporters Award, to the top supporters branch of the season with a prize of R100,000 to be shared amongst first, second and third place.
The 2008/09 Absa Premiership Award Categories are as follows:
Players' Player of the Season - R150,000
Player of the Season - R150,000
Goal Keeper of the Season - R50,000
Coach of the Season - R75,000
Absa-lutely Awesome Goal - R50,000
Top Goalscorer - R100,000 (26 or more goals)
Red Hot Talented Player of the Season - R50,000
Golden Vuvuzela Award - R100,000
Together, the End of Season Awards (valued at R725,000) and Player of the Month Awards (totalling R90,000) brings the total incentives and awards for the 2008/09 Absa Premiership Season to R815,000.
These incentives and awards, when added to the total prize money in the league, take the total cash up for grabs during this Absa Premiership season to a staggering R30,215,000.
With the fast-paced style of South African football returning amongst the clubs, and regular team fixtures starting to attract good and sometimes even capacity crowds, a breeze of excitement hangs thick in the air.
The Premier Soccer League and Absa invite South Africa soccer lovers to vote with their feet, to return to the stadiums, to 'bring back the glory days'.
The first league matches kick-off this Wednesday, 27 August 2008, with Swallows' first fixture against Bay United on Saturday, August 30. Kick-off at Olympia Park is set for 3pm.