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A disappointing Absa Premiership season for Golden Arrows in 2009/10.
The KwaZulu-Natal side may have picked up their first piece of major silverware by winning the MTN8 in late 2009 and in great style, thrashing Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in the final but their league campaign seemed to suffer as a result.
They will not have the chance to defend their cup title as they failed to finish inside the top eight; in fact, Arrows could only limp home in 12th place.
Though they were never really ever in danger of being drawn into the relegation zone, Arrows were still nowhere near the level required to be a top eight contender.
They simply drew too many games a whopping 14 of their 30 Absa Premiership games ended in stalemates and won too few, leaving them trailing in the wake of the sides that finished in the top half of the table.
Another major problem was a lack of goals: last season Richard Henyekane scored 19 league goals on his own, whereas this season Abafana Besthende managed just 25 overall.
This lack of penetration up front will be the major thing coach Manqoba Mngqithi will hope to address ahead of the 2010/11 Absa Premiership season.
Golden Arrows will consider the last Absa Premiership season something of a breakthrough. Abafana Besthende finished fifth on the log table and at one stage even led the pack thanks to a run of great consistency early in the season.
Coach Manqoba Mngqithis charges may have struggled somewhat during the middle part of the campaign, particularly at home where they seemed to be unable to hit a rhythm, but thanks to the goal scoring feats of Richard Henyekane (19 goals in the Absa Premiership, which saw him win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award) they pulled through for a strong finish.
And the KwaZulu-Natal club did it in style, playing some of the best football in the top flight league.
Arrows have lost several important players ahead of the 2009/10 season, with Papi Zothwane, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Kagiso Senamela all leaving the club in the off-season, but they have retained the core of the side that performed so well last season.
This will give Mngqithi hope of a strong showing in the Absa Premiership and cup competitions as the KwaZulu-Natal team look to win some top flight silverware for the first time in their history.
|ABSA PREMIERSHIP 2009/10 TEAM RECORD|
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