Two brand new league champions were crowned when Flymingo United FC and Comet Riders FC won their first ever Thandukukhanya Junior League titles in the under 13 and under 17 divisions. It was a continued dominance of the league in the under 15 division when Citizen FC made history by winning a 5th under 15 league championship after the last round of matches played on Saturday 24 November 2018 at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya in Mkhondo.
Phola Park based side Flymingo United FC were confirmed the under 13 league division champions in a 2-0 win over 2017 champions Citizen FC in their last game. The title rivals Mara Mara FC played a goalless draw in their last game against PR Wanderers FC leaving them in 2nd position with 65 points in 26 games played. The defending champions Citizen FC finished in 3rd place after collecting 57 points. Wilverdiend based side Shining Stars FC finished the season as the most improved team of the season in 4th place with 52 points collected in 16 wins, four draws and six (6) losses. The club also won the Build IT under 13 Knockout Cup in August this year.
Comet Riders FC spent three (3) seasons as bridesmaids of the league until this year when they eventually grasped the league championship from 3 time champions Citizen FC in the under 17 division. The club from Mangosuthu section of Thandukukhanya Township defeated Hintalo FC 6-0 in the last game to end the league leading three time champions Citizen FC by a close 2 points.
The last match was almost spoiled by the lightning and thunderstorms which began shortly after kick off prompting the match referee to stop the match. Hintalo FC suffered an injury to their goalkeeper and had to be replaced when the match resumed. Comet Riders FC was on fire after the game resumed scoring six goals on their way to their first ever development league championship. Mighty Commondale FC defeated Wilverdiend Stars FC 4-0 to seal third place in their first season playing under Thandukukhanya Junior League. The club is based at Commondale a rural area situated 45km from the Mkhondo CBD.
Comet Riders FC spent 3 seasons as bridesmaids of the league until this year when they eventually grasped the league championship from Citizen FC in the under 17 division.
The under 15 division was won by Citizen FC after being held to a 1-1 draw in the final match of the season against title rivals Flymingo United FC. The two teams played attacking football from the start until the end. Citizen FC received a penalty in the early minutes of the match which was coolly taken by Simphiwe ‘Bhongo’ Mkhonza to take the match into half time at 1-0.
The match highlight was the two young players entertaining the spectators with their battle throughout the game. Flymingo United FC had speedy striker Sbusiso ‘Malema’ Nkosi doing battle with a no-nonsense defender Kwanele Magagula which was very interesting to watch. Malema was kept out of goal but managed to slip through an offside trap to beat substitute goalkeeper Bayanda Mkhonza for the equaliser late in the match. The game ended 1-1 to the disappointment of title chasers Flymingo United FC who were looking for two league titles this season after winning the under 13 division. Bothe teams finished on 71 points each but separated by goal difference. It is the 5th league championship win in a row for Citizen FC in the under 15 division since the league was formally launched in 2014. A good end of the tournament which began in February under the Mkhondo LFA.
The only disappointment came right at the end of the season when local governing body Mkhondo LFA could not provide awards for league winners as has been the case in previous seasons. It is not clear as to the reasons why SAFA or the LFA could not provide the league prizes that have been previously provided through the FIFA 2010 World Cup Legacy Trust Funds. But it is also common knowledge that the South African Football Association finances have been crippled by lack of sponsorship and loss of TV revenue in recent times. Clubs were promised to be given their development league prizes at a date to be announced by the Mkhondo Local Football Association.