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Banija
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:47 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 6 Wrap Up

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Now that all the games have been played, we are here with the exclusive wrap-up analysis of the Banijan Soccer League! We will come to our readers with 6 essential observations about the league season, alongside three things of "what to watch for" for Banijan soccer fans in general heading into the offseason in terms of the league.

Six Observations about Season Six


1. Jinja City fans starting to get frustrated with Alexander Bumba

The national league, the Banijan Soccer League, has been taking place for six seasons. Ever since we moved out of an exclusively regional setup, and moved into a national setup, with participation in international competitions and the international market and such, there has been a great improvement in the quality of Banijan soccer. You can see it on the national team, as the Vijana Kadongo Kamu, which will form the core of future generations of Banijan players, finished in 3rd place at the Di Bradini Cup. 22 out of 23 players played in Banija- except for, superstar winger Gitonga Kahara, who won the golden boot at Project Olimpo but is now dominating for Polaris in the Terrenean League East.

Regardless of that, let's dwelve into the history of Jinja City FC a little bit. Jinja City FC won the first ever season of the Banijan Soccer League. The only season where the league had 16 squads, they earned 67 points. The inaugaural champions then followed that up in Season 2 by winning even more silverware. While they did not win the league that season, they ended up finishing just outside the pace for the league. They finished with 84 points, just four points behind the Hoima Warriors- one of three times that they finished with 80+ points and did not win the league. However, that season, they won the Kabaka's Cup, and went to the final of the RBSA Cup, losing on penalties. At that point, you would've assumed the future would have been extremely bright for Jinja City FC, right?

That Kabaka's Cup victory was the last time this squad has earned a trophy. Arguably, they've been the most consistent team in Banija over the past four years, outside of Herzegovina City FC's run of dominance. They've finished in fourth place each of the last four seasons. Season 3, they finished with 67 points, 10 points off the pace. In Season 4, they won their final six games of the season, finishing with 86 points- one point off the pace, set again by Herzegovina City FC. In Season 5, they once again finished with 86 points. Istria City FC also had 86 points, but won the league on goal difference. This was particularly painful, as a shocking upset loss to their archrivals, Aissa United, on Matchday 37 cost them the title.

This season, they finished 21 points off of HZCFC's record-setting pace. At some point, however, second place isn't god enough. They don't want to be known as a club that will always finish in second place- yet, that is beginning to be their international reputation. Alexander Bumba, the young, brilliant manager, is starting to be a source of frustration for fans. Some say he doesn't have what it takes to get over the top, while defenders say that he is extremely unlucky. He isn't on the hot seat, for now, but Jinja City FC fans are getting desperate for some sort of silverware.

2. Elias Abate proving his versatility has likely earned him a place in Banija's Final 23 for World Cup Qualifying

With World Cup Qualifiers coming around the corner, the biggest position battle, at least heading into the season, was this- who would start at left wing? Elias Abate, or Sia Fall? Chibuzo Afolayan, plying his trade in the world's #1 ranked league, the Nepharim Premiership for AFC Corvistone, had one winger spot on lockdown. It was the second spot that people were worried about. Of course, the answer to that question is, of course, neither. Gitonga Kahara exploded onto the scene, winning the golden boot at Project Olimpo, and then winning the golden boot at the Di Bradini Cup, and leading the U21 national team to a 3rd place finish. It was those performances that would land him a spot with Polaris.

The young winger has excelled for Polaris, especially in international competition. It is interesting- for someone who was originally on the radar for World Cup 81, Randolf Cherry is almost assuredly not only going to select him, but put him in his starting XI across from Chibuzo Afolayan. Which meant, the battle between Abate and Fall was not about starting- it was about making the roster at all? And while Elias Abate's offensive stats went way down with his move to central midfield, it is his grit shown from this move that has him assuredly in Banija's Final 23.

He has earned the respect of many of his peers. With him north of age 30, this will likely be his last world cup qualifying campaign, and he has likely edged out Sia Fall. He has shown that he is versatile, with his play in central midfield, and also shown that he is willing to do whatever the manager asks- a trait that all coaches, in all sports, love to have. He is gritty, and he will be part of a number of players of the same generation, making their last appearances for the Banijan national team in the World Cup 80 cycle.

3. Herzegovina City FC's undefeated season proves that it is always possible to get better

What an incredible four year run that Herzegovina City FC has had. Three league titles, the RBSA Cup, and capping it off with an 100 point, undefeated season? Herzegovina City FC, after Season 5, came off their first time in three seasons not winning the league title, though they took home their first ever RBSA Cup title. And with longtime manager Kolt Freegan deciding to leave for the Capetown Crocs, the question was asked. Can Herzegovina City FC's success be maintained?

And the answer was an emphatic yes. They were able to keep the core of their team around in the last transfer window- Aarón Aiza, Ennis Leishmann, Guillermo Madruga, Boimah Ba, Delbin Kasekende, etc... and even get another weapon going forward, by the name of Lucas Lucius Vit. The Natanians & Nosts attacking midfielder added a new dimension. But the best addition all season for the squad has not been on the field- it is a 74 year old Cosumarite on the touchline, Brian Emerson.

This is the first undefeated season in BSL history, and a feat like this may not happen again for a long, long time. Brian Emerson has etched his name in Banijan history with this season- and deserves all the credit in the world. They only conceded 19 goals over the course of the entire season- or only allowing one goal to be scored every other game. This means that Delbin Kasekende had over 20 clean sheets on the year, a stunning record for the Banijan #1. They have a high standard for excellence, and this may be the permanent bar for any Banijan side, ever.

4. Herzegovina Phoenix prove that regular clubs are capable of breaking into the Super 5 monopoly on the Top 4

While the Phoenix are not your average Banijan club, they are certainly not a Super 5 team. They do not have the history of a team like Herzegovina City FC, they are not as established, not as rich, not as much tradition. And yet, it is the Herzegovina Phoenix, rather than the defending champs, Istria City FC, or the Hoima Warriors, who have taken the BSL's last automatic qualification spot in the Globe Cup.

Mark Grayson wasn't even expected to have a huge impact this season for the Phoenix. While the team was expected to improve, it was expected that they'd need a transfer window to shape the team into the roster that Mark Grayson really wants, a team that can truly compete for league titles, year in year out, and qualify for competitions like the Globe Cup. But, of course, Grayson made a serious impact. All season long, players on this team have been talking about legacy- what is their legacy for the club. Winger Abram Senay, who is 34 years old and, more than likely, won't be playing for the Phoenix next year, said it best.

"It is about being the start of a project that will bring us to new heights." Said Abram Senay. "It is not a quick fix to catch teams like Herzegovina City FC and Busukuma AC and Jinja City FC. It takes building blocks, and it takes a concerted effort. Like Mark said all year- we are the first blocks. While there will be others to build on top of us, we wanted to be that foundation. To get to the Globe Cup now, to have whoever puts on this jersey next year have the opportunity to play in it, will ensure that this plan moves forward, rather than back. We are all proud to be part of the foundation, and we wish to build for the club's future."

5. This season shows that there is still parity in the Banijan Soccer League

The league has been worried about the lack of parity in the Banijan Soccer League for the past couple of seasons. The last three seasons, the same four teams had finished in the top 4, though not necessarily in the same order- Istria City FC, Herzegovina City FC, Busukuma AC, and Jinja City FC. But, of course, the question is asked- how in the world is there parity within the Banijan Soccer League when its champion has won the league three out of the past four seasons, and this season, with a first year manager, went undefeated while doing so?

Well, the answer, to us, at least, is perfectly clear. You can look in the Banijan qualifiers for the UICA, you can look at the regional leagues and, lastly, you can look at the RBSA Cup. The stranglehold of the same four teams on the top four is over, as the Herzegovina Phoenix, without any major purchases on the transfer market, were able to overtake the defending champions, Istria City FC, and obtain fourth place. It was a brilliant piece of coaching by Mark Grayson, and if Herzegovina City FC didn't go undefeated, Mark Grayson would likely be a shoo-in for manager of the year.

Look at the RBSA Cup as well. Neither finalist was in the Super 5 clubs, or even the Phoenix. Busembe Timberwolves and Mynda Electra finished 8th and 9th in the league this season, respectively. Neither was expected to qualify for anything, or compete for any trophies this season. They were both expected to be midlevel. But, they played above themselves in the RBSA Cup, with the Timberwolves defeating Jinja City FC in the semifinals, while Mynda Electra won at Star Field, 1-0, in the quarterfinals. Their runs will show you that there is still parity in this league, and that it is not too top heavy.

6. Banijan League's international flavor is impacting the league for the better

Over the past three to four seasons, Banijan clubs have made a great effort to bring foreign talent, in both coaching and playing, to ply their trade in Banija. It has had a serious impact on the level of quality in Banijan soccer- with the BSL rising 50 places up the rankings after the last UICA, and expected to move up after this upcoming UICA season. Club soccer in Banija is more competitive, and more entertaining, than ever, and that is in no small part to the foreign talent that plys their trade here each and every season.

Let's start with players, shall we? While, of course, you have no true household names in the league- the league has never had a player that has played in the World Cup Finals while signed for a BSL sides- that is to be expected for the young league, who has only recently completed their sixth season playing nationally. However, the league is filled with plenty of talent that are stars in this league, and that can make a real impact for their national teams. Aarón Aiza, Lin Moon, Atsushi Ryu, and Chase Pershing, just to name a few. Foreign stars who choose to ply their trade in Banija, making a real difference for their clubs and being integral parts of trophy chases for Banija's best club teams.

And, of course, we need to talk about management. 5/20 managers are foreign- or 25%. Which is a good percentage for a league of the BSL's caliber. But boy, those managers are making an impact. Specifically, the pair in Herzegovina City. Brian Emerson's squad went undefeated, so we know what kind of historical impact he's had, even if he's lived for three quarters of a century. But you must also look at Mark Grayson, the Nepharim manager. He has made a serious impact, that might be even more long-term- the Phoenix have broken into the top four and the UICA, breaking the stranglehold of the Super 5 on those competitions.

It has made a serious impact, and it has made foreign managers more and more popular. The Hoima Warriors have already agreed to terms with Jehan Blair, and Bunyoro RSC, looking to copy off of the ambitious example set by the Phoenix, are heavily rumored that they will reach terms with Razenthurian manager Adam Jeffreys, who just won the league title in League RZN for AC Stonehenge. Bunyoro RSC's current manager, Iphicrates Bella will, of course, be taking a job as the Commissioner of the Northwestern League, which opened up that spot.

And depending on who is hired this offseason, there may be almost 10 foreign managers in the Banijan Soccer League! One thing is clear though- the massive influx of foreign coaching talent has had a huge impact on a league that is trying to climb the ladder, and quickly.

Three Things to watch for this Offseason


Ahh, the offseason. This offseason, of course, is filled with World Cup Qualifying. Who doesn't like the hustle and bustle of a World Cup Qualification campaign? However, the clubs will be making many moves- some that may attract headlines, and some that may be ignored. For the avid BSL fan, we will give you a list of three stories to follow, throughout the summer months, that will have a large impact in the months to follow.

1. RBSA vote about minimum age to play for a professional side

There has not been a formally established minimum age to play for a professional side within Banija. Right before the start of the window, however, team owners from the regional leagues and from the Banijan Soccer League are voting on whether a minimum age should be established at 18, the age of adulthood within Banija. The proposal would, of course, include a grandfather clause so that people who are already signed to professional contracts who are under 18 can continue playing here. The most high profile player that would benefit from the grandfather clause, is Xavier Melchoir, the Lions attacking midfielder, who was 16 at the end of Season 6.

This is in line with another proposal brought forward by the RBSA- the development of youth soccer within Banija. Currently, there is no overarching youth setup, with just local leagues. BSL sides don't have academies, and the such. The RBSA is expected to pass a regional academy resolution, to establish academies in Banija's 8 regions. Players from the National Capitol Region will be able to play in either Ankole or Kitara, which are the two regions that border the City of Busukuma, coterminous with the National Capitol Region.

These academies will be ran and funded by all the BSL and regional league sides under its jurisdiction. Of course, each club contributes according to their own means, but this is something that the RBSA says is 'crucial' to developing young talent within Banija. BOth proposals are expected to pass easily. They will need 2/3s of all professional owners(46), including at least six owners from each regional league and 12 owners from the Banijan Soccer League. The days of Banijan clubs recruiting 16 year olds to come play professionally in Banija, look to be severely numbered.

2. Expect the Phoenix to be active on the transfer market

Signals from the Phoenix have been sent all season that they want to do a complete roster overhaul, which makes sense. 9 out of 11 players are over the age of 30, and even though they qualified for the UICA, they are paying Mark Grayson quite a bit of money to make this team into a powerhouse. The Phoenix know that they need to get better, younger players, and they will look to the transfer market to do so.

They are already causing rumors within the BSL- there is a rumor that they are offering the Lions $4.5 million NSDs for Xavier Melchoir, Josef Lawerenz, and Phineas Antwell all together. While it is unclear how the Lions will respond, this will be a massive offer, at least here at home, and we'll see if they can put it together. However, even if they can grab all three, that is not all they can get. Expect them to be active on the international circuit.

Mark Grayson, naturally, has connections abroad, and will look across the multiverse, including back home in Nephara, to get players. The biggest named target for him is Orion Etzebeth. While he's valued between 5 and 6 million NSDs, probably making him out of the price range of some of his players, a couple of sales could see them fundraise the money to make a serious bid for him. He is the perfect player for Grayson's system- a stocky, veteran central midfielder to join a team that is certainly about to be much younger.

And the last question, is what will happen with Chase Pershing? The man is enjoying some sort of a revival, putting up 20+ goals two seasons in a row. Is it built to last? He is ageing quickly, but he has been such an integral part of the team's success. Our prediction is that, ultimately, Grayson will have to let him go, and chase after a striker like Corvid Alemane. We imagine that Pershing will find a team, somewhere within the BSL.

3. Look out for Banijan clubs to be active selling too

We know that there will be a number of clubs from our country looking to buy talent. From the Hoima Warriors, to the Herzegovina Phoenix, to everyone else, there is always a need that has to be filled. Except, for maybe Herzegovina City FC? But we haven't talked about who will walk away, who will choose to ply their trade abroad.

There are a number of possibilities in terms of player looking to go abroad. We deem Sia Fall as the most likely. As he has been passed by Gitonga Kahara on the national team depth chart, he might know that his only chance of getting that spot back is to ply his trade abroad for a few seasons, wait for Afolayan to retire, and then take the spot opposite Kahara. Or else, even though he's so young, his chances at ever starting for the national team, are finished.

Who else could be looking to go abroad? Okonkwo Okparro, looking to position himself as the heir to the #10 jersey from Kiggwe Mavuto, who will likely replace George Wangolo as the captain for the World Cup 80 cycle, is likely to go abroad. He is not a fan of Bunyoro RSC, and he has his sights on playing abroad. We'll see what teams, if any, offer for him, as a good couple of seasons abroad will help him for World Cup 81, if you want to even think that far down the timeline.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
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Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Postby Banija » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:32 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 6 Awards

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The Accolades


HERZEGOVINA CITY, MORAVICA The Season Six awards ceremony is being held at the Northern Moravica University Music Hall. It is, of course, a black tie event. All the individual awards and accolades are shown on this night.


Top BSL Goalscorers
Rank Name Nationality Team Name Goals Scored
1 Guillermo Madruga Amazonesta Herzegovina City FC 27 - WINNER OF BSL GOLDEN BOOT

2 Lin Moon Chromatika Jinja City FC 24
3 Chase Pershing Brenecia Herzegovina Phoenix 22
4 Girma Asmelash Banija Istria City FC 19
4 Okonkwo Okparro Banija Bunyoro RSC 19
6 Aaron Aiza Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC 18
7 Assefa Yitebarke Banija Istria City FC 17
8 Demetro Laterza Juvencus Umbazi Metropolitan SC 16
9 Sia Fall Banija Jinja City FC 15
10 Noah Lamont Hill Devonta Isipongo Flash 14


BSL Assist Leaders
Rank Name Nationality Team Name Assists
1 Aaron Aiza Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC 16 - WINNER OF BSL SILVER BOOT

2 Daniel Asres Banija Jinja City FC 14
2 Girma Asemlash Banija Istria City FC 14
4 Okonkwo Okparro Banija Bunyoro RSC 13
5 Josef Lawerenz Equestrian States Lwanga Lions 10


1st Team All-Pro
Position     Name            Age      Nationality               Team Name            
GK Delbin Kasekende 31 Banija Herzegovina City FC - WINNER OF BSL GOLDEN GLOVE
RB Siafa Diop 28 Banija Umbazi Metropolitan SC
CB Wenceslaw 26 Cosumar Hoima Warriors
CB Abate Brehanu 26 Banija Busembe Timberwolves
LB Alifa Diawara 29 Banija Herzegovina City FC
CM Okonkwo Okparro 22 Banija Bunyoro RSC
RM Aaron Aiza 27 Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC
LM Atsushi Ryu 26 Dunnes Istria City FC
RS Noah Lamont Hill 30 Devonta Isipongo Flash
CF Lin Moon 27 Chromatika Jinja City FC
LS Chase Pershing 34 Brenicia Herzegovina Phoenix


MVP Voting(2 reporters per team for a total of 40 votes)
ST Guillermo Madruga - 17 votes
AM Aarón Aiza - 9 votes
ST Lin Moon - 8 votes
ST Chase Pershing - 3 votes
GK Delbin Kaekende- 3 votes

Manager of the Year(2 reporters per team for a total of 40 votes)
Brian Emerson(HZCFC) - 31 votes
Mark Grayson(Phoenix) - 9 Votes
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Postby Banija » Wed May 30, 2018 11:16 am

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'Former national team manager Randolf Cherry hired as BSL Commissioner as owners debate future

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BSL owners take a picture before entering Season 7 RBSA Owners meetings


BUSUKUMA- National team manager Randolf Cherry has always had a good reputation within Banija. While owners were not always fond of his desire to have Banija's national team players play abroad, they say that his consistent desire for that helped 'push the BSL' to improve to the position they are in today. The growth of the national team tending to go side by side with the growth of the domestic league- as one improves, the other, also improves. His reputation in Banija, even after a disastrous first half of World Cup Qualifying, has always been strong, like Jan Cassallerus after he was fired. Banija appreciates its own national team managers, and now, Randolf Cherry has a full-time gig within the RBSA.

He is now the Commissioner of the Banijan Soccer League, effective immediately. His own predecessor had retired at the end of Season 6- a successful season for the Banijan Soccer League, with revenue growth, international eyes and participation, and, of course, real talk about teams that could actually make noise in international competition. However, the league chose to move towards a voice of reform, in the hiring of Randolf Cherry. Somebody with extensive experience in management, in both the club and international side, someone with a strong resume, a business acumen. How things work in a nation like Drawkland, where they've never missed qualifying for the World Cup Finals. He gave a few words at the press conference today.

"I would like to thank the owners today for their faith in me to serve as the Commissioner of the Banijan Soccer League." Said new Commissioner Randolf Cherry. "I, today, take what is a great opportunity- to be at the helm of growth for a league that is forcing its way onto the international stage. Not through spending oodles of money, but because of fierce competition, because of the commitment to developing talent, and the commitment to win. We are a league with top notch managers, committed owners, and as the league grows, the world's best players will be coming to this league as well. I want to be part of this growth, have a hand in the growth of the Banijan Soccer League from an upstart player to a globally relevant league."

Of course, three are a number of issues facing the league in the upcoming RBSA Season 7 Owners Meetings, where not only the 20 BSL owners will meet, but representatives of the entire pyramid will meet- including the 48 pyramid sides. This will be interesting, of course, as the vast majority of regional league squads are owned by the fans or the community- with the biggest club that is not fan owned is Capitol City Football Club, owned by Alexander Berry. We'll overview the three major issues facing the owners and leadership teams of these clubs, on issues important to the sport in Banija. As a reminder on how voting works at this meetings, it is a double-qualified majority- you need 16 out of the 20 BSL owners, as well as 6 owners from each regional league, to pass any proposal. Essentially, nothing can pass with the majority opposition of any regional league, or without the full and overwhelming support of the BSL ownership.

1. Youth Development

This is something that has been a source of frustration for Randolf Cherry when he was manager of the national team. The development -or lack thereof- of youth in the country. Now, of course, many would say- what is this? Gitonga Kahara is burgeoning into a bonafide superstar, and he's barely 20 years old. The Vijana Kadongo Kamu earned a bronze medal at the most recent edition of the Di Bradini Cup, which is the name of the U21 World Cup. Young players, like Gitonga Kahara, are bursting through, at the opportunity, seizing it, and making the absolute most of their situation.

However, not is all rosy in that aspect. The defending champions, who just finished an incredible undefeated season in the BSL, only have one player on their entire roster who is under the age of 27- Jackson Oglobelo, of Abaja. Randolf Cherry, however, has proposed a solution that has proven quite controversial- regional youth academies. 8 youth academies, one for each of Banija's regions except the National Capitol Region, whose residents would fall under the Ankole and Kitara academies. Each academy would be funded by all clubs in the region, with wealth transfers from the bigger regions(read as: Moravica), to help.

Randolf Cherry says his plan would be able to help lower costs, and create a level playing field for clubs that can't afford to open their own youth teams. Currently, only six teams in Banija have youth sides- Herzegovina City FC, Jinja City FC, Herzegovina Phoenix, Istria City FC, Busukuma AC, and the Hoima Warriors. Those six sides would be disbanded and swallowed into their regional youth academies, which could serve kids through age 18. While receiving backlash from the bigger clubs, this is a proposal that is likely to pass- and also likely to revolutionize youth soccer development in this country as we know it.

2. Rule on 18 year-olds? Go or stay

Before the start of Season 6, the BSL ownership passed an age minimum of 18 years for the BSL only, which did not apply to the regional leagues after fierce opposition from those clubs. IN place for Season 6, it got mixed reviews from critics. While proponents said that this would help ensure that kids finished secondary school, critics said that it has babied some of Banija's youngest talent, and puts Banija yet another step behind. Critics also say it chases Banija's best young talent outside of the country, as they look for a foreign country to develop their skills and abilities.

This, of course, is a decision for the Banijan Soccer League only. BSL rules require 15 owners in support of any move to change any internal rules. This would seem the easiest to change- Randolf Cherry has always been a harsh critic, and it seems as if most owners realised that it hurt youth development in the country more than it helped. Of course, there is a rule being floated by the Phoenix ownership that BSL teams should each be required to carry at least one player under the age of 21- unlikely to pass for now, but who knows what will happen going forward?

3. Pro/Rel

The question on everybody's minds. Promotion/relegation. Banija is one of two major soccer leagues in the UICA, the other being Drawkian League Kickerball, that does not have any form of promotion/relegation. This is a conversation that was sparked with Corizova's United return to the Serie B Champions Cup- as far as we can tell, they are the only team that will be in this season's edition of the Serie B Champions Cup, that was in last season's edition of the tournament. With that realization came criticism, and with that, came embarrassment. Should Banija be one of the world's last holdouts to promotion/relegation?

BSL ownership has traditionally been against adding promotion/relegation. The reasons are obvious, aren't they? The owners of Rukunbi FC said that promotion/relegation would 'ruin all the progress we've made in the last few seasons.' "The idea that one bad season should get you kicked out of the league entirely, is absolutely ridiculous." Said the team in a statement. "We have 20 teams, doing what they are trying to do to win championships. What happens if we had promotion/relegation? The gap betweent he Super 5 and the rest of us will increase, because the rest of us will simply be focused on trying to stay up. Rebuilds, long-term planning, all go out the window, as it's a fight for survival. Not to mention the financially instability that can be brought to clubs that are relegated."

Some of the big clubs, on the other hand, have been for adding promotion/relegation. "Being able to earn your way to the top is what the sport is all about." Said Herzegovina City FC in a statement. "All of the top leagues- from Nephara, to Cosumar, to every league around the world, has promotion/relegation. IT is something that should be looked into." Of course, Randolf Cherry is an interesting figure here- also from a system that doesn't have promotion/relegation, he knows the merits of the franchise-based system.

The lower league sides, however, are clamoring for recognition. Corizova United, the two-time defending champs of the Northwestern League, said that the opportunity to work your way up the pyramid was an issue of 'fundamental fairness', saying that on-field success, rather than money, should be your limit on how far you can go. A number of issues face promotion/relegation- for one, the regional league structure of the second level on the pyramid. WIth the four leagues independent enough to not unify and create a national second and third division, that is an issue that would have to be addressed. A rumored compromise floating around is the idea that only one side would be promoted, to limit the number of teams moving between the regional leagues and the national division.

These will be a very fascinating set of owners meetings, one of the most consequential in years. And, as always, you know where to go for your wall-to-wall coverage of all things BSL!
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Banija
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Founded: Mar 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:32 am

Banijan Lacrosse League

Bunyoro RSC finish undefeated regular season as they clinch berth in Champions Cup

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Bunyoro RSC players posing at their first practice following their undefeated season

Final Regular Season Standings
Teams in green have the league's best regular season record and a spot in the Champions Cup.
Teams in green have clinched a playoff berth and a berth in either the Ultimate Cup or the Champions Cup.
Teams in blue have clinched a berth in the Ultimate Cup.

National Conference                Pld   W   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Bunyoro RSC 14 14 0 162 76 +86 42
2 Busukuma Flyers 14 9 5 198 112 +86 27

3 Luguyala Patriots 14 9 5 179 132 +47 27
4 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 14 8 6 129 120 +9 24
5 Jinja City Weasels 14 7 7 154 160 −6 21
6 Hoima Gators 14 5 9 120 170 −50 15
7 Mynda Knights 14 2 12 103 183 −80 6
8 Kitara Athletic Association 14 2 12 101 193 −92 6


Moravica Conference             Pld    W   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Istria Thunder 14 12 2 167 100 +67 36
2 Vidizi Bulls 14 11 3 176 123 +53 33

3 Herzegovina City Kings 14 10 4 170 90 +80 30

4 Iziarad Wildcats 14 9 5 149 108 +41 27
5 Hamilton Jackals 14 6 8 131 160 −29 18
6 Taramazna Hawks 14 3 11 117 165 −48 9
7 Kosactus Hammerheads 14 3 11 90 192 −102 9
8 West Istria White Wings 14 2 12 117 179 −62 6


DODOMO, BUNYORO- The regular season is finally over in the 3rd edition of the Banijan Lacrosse League. Now, of course, for the new followers of the lacrosse league, the format is relatively simple- the teams are divided into two conferences of 8 teams each. One is the Moravica Conference, consisting of 8 teams from the Moravica region. The region, of course, is the heart and soul of the Banijan lacrosse game, incredibly popular in Banija's richest and most diverse region. Teams come from all across the region- from the region's big cities, with a pair of teams from Istria and a team from Herzegovina, as well as a team from Vidizi, an inner-ring suburb of Herzegovina City. It is popular within rural Moravica as well, with a team from Hamilton, a small village of 9,000.

And then, there is the National Conference. These consist of 8 teams from across the rest of the nation. The other region where lacrosse really has a foothold, besides Moravica, is the Bunyoro region. Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club, famously known as the only fan-owned club in the Banijan Soccer League- or, of course, the only true club depending on who you ask, since it certainly isn't a franchise, is also known as a national sporting power in lacrosse. The winners of international club lacrosse's first ever competition, the Champions Cup, they followed that up with their first Banijan Lacrosse League championship.

The National Conference has one change in it from previous seasons. With the Busoga Islands independence upcoming, the Lakiska Sporting Club has been kicked from the Banijan Lacrosse League, for not being Banijan. And, of course, they have been replaced with a squad from Mynda- the Mynda Knights. It was a controversial move, but Lakiska Sporting Club was kicked out by a vote of 11-4 from the other owners, saying that the Busoga Islands should 'form their own lacrosse league'. The Banijan Lacrosse Association has also banned Islanders from playing for their sporting teams, saying that the Islands should have their own team.

This season was an interesting one. Let's start with the Moravica Conference, shall we? Where the balance of power presumably lies, anyways. Going into the season, people expected the race between the Istria Thunder and the Herzegovina City Kings to go down to the wire, and that they would surely clinch the top two spots. Of course, these teams are natural rivals- the biggest teams in each of their respective cities, that have sporting rivalries all over the place- from Northern Moravica v. Loyola-Istria, to Istria City FC v. Herzegovina City FC, and everything else. The Thunder, however, pulled it out, while the Bulls snuck into second place. This leaves the Kings, shockingly, out of the playoffs entirely for the first time, though they clinched an Ultimate Cup Berth as the country's best non-playoff team.

Then, of course, we move to the National Conference. Bunyoro RSC has completed a historic season- going 14-0. Perfect, undefeated, whatever you want to call it. Ironically, this comes on the heels of Herzegovina City FC going undefeated in the BSL- greatness begets more greatness? Regardless, they easily punched their ticket to the Champions Cup. A berth already earned, of course, courtesy of being the defending champs- but now they are overwhelming favorites to repeat as the champions of the Banijan Lacrosse League.

For the second playoff berth, however, it was a free-for-all. Flyers, Patriots, Umbazi, and the Weasels all competing for the berth. Ultimately, the Flyrs and the Patiorts both finished 9-5, with the Flyers taking the berth due to goal difference, thanks to their league leading 198 goals. Or, of course, averaging just over 14 goals a match, a stunning goalscoring rate. This means in the playoffs, of course, they will be a threat to anybody.
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Kabaka = King
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NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Postby Banija » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:29 am

Banijan Lacrosse League

Playoff Format
The top two teams in each conference make the playoffs. The Moravica conference is the league's 8 teams from the Moravica Region, and the National Conference are the league's 8 teams from the rest of the country. The Moravica conference champion plays the National runner-up in one semifinal,and the National conference champion plays the Moravica runner-up in the other semifinal. The winners play in the final at the home stadium of the team who finished the regular season with more points.

Semifinal Matchups(Best of 3)
SF #1: Bunyoro RSC vs. Vidizi Bulls
SF #2: Istria Thunder vs. Busukuma Flyers

Semifinal #1
Game 1: Bunyoro RSC 12–5 Vidizi Bulls
Game 2:Vidizi Bulls 9–9 Bunyoro RSC (10–11 OT)
Bunyoro RSC wins series 2-0


Semifinal #2
Game 1: Istria Thunder 13–9 Busukuma Flyers
Game 2: Busukuma Flyers 9–5 Istria Thunder
Game 3: Istria Thunder 13–5 Busukuma Flyers


3rd Banijan Lacrosse League Championship Game
Bunyoro RSC 19–7 Istria Thunder
Bunyoro RSC are champions of the Banijan Lacrosse League


Bunyoro RSC finish first ever perfect season; enter Champions Cup as favorites

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DODOMO, BUNYORO- The Banijan Lacrosse League playoffs are generally short, but they are always an entertaining affair. With Bunyoro RSC coming in as the treble holders- the Champions Cup, the Challenger's Cup, and the Banijan Lacrosse League- the club from Dodomo came into these playoffs as the favorites, at least from a home stretch point of view, as they looked to finish an undefeated season. Of course, they'd face a tough challenge first in the playoffs, when they had to play their first Moravica club of the season- a much tougher conference, top to bottom, than the National Conference- the Vidizi Bulls.

Bunyoro RSC proved their worth in the first game, when they routed the Bulls, 12-5, in Dodomo. But it was their first trip to Vidizi where the problems came up. With a loud and energetic crowd, it was a lower-scoring battle. A physical battle- people hitting each other left and right, aggressive play, everyone urged on by the fans. In the final minute of the game, Bunyoro RSC held a slim, 9-8 lead. Just another minute, of course, and then they would be able to win their stunning 16th straight game in league competition. However, the Bulls scored with just 13 seconds on the clock, forcing overtime.

The Bulls were the first to score in overtime, making it 10-9. Bunyoro RSC was on the ropes here on the road- they would need to prove their worth. However, they scored a goal to make it 10-10, and with 9 seconds left in the period, they scored another goal, a backbreaking goal that would eliminate the Bulls. The Vidizi fans applauded after the game- it was a great spectacle to see, back and forth, very physical, a lot of pride on the line. A win is a win, and after their grittiest win of the season, Bunyoro RSC had punched their tickets to the championship game.

The second series, the Thunder against the Flyers, was a good watch as well. None of the games were particularly close- the home team dominated each game,with the Thunder scoring 13 goals in each of their home victories, while only scoring five when they were routed in the nation's capitol. The fact, however, that it even went to a game 3 was a shocker- the Thunder were favored to sweep the Flyers, but the Flyers fought. However, establishing a 7-0 lead at halftime in game 3 buried the game for the Thunder, and they punched their ticket to Dodomo, to not only try and stop history, but create history of their own.

Unfortunately for the Thunder, it was the end of the line in a fantastic season for the Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club. Bunyoro RSC came out firing on all cylinders- putting up 12 goals by halftime and cruising to a 19-7 victory on their home field, earning them their second straight title. This continues a historic run for Bunyoro RSC- being the present holders of the Champions Cup and the Challenger's Cup, as well as the back to back winners of the Banijan Lacrosse League. While competition is expected to be fierce for the Champions Cup, the holders are expected to challenge well to bring the trophy back to Dodomo, and establish the region as the heart and soul of international club lacrosse.

Banija (BNJ) Qualifiers
Champions Cup: Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club, Istria Thunder
Ultimate Cup: Vidizi Bulls, Busukuma Flyers, Herzegovina City Kings
Last edited by Banija on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Banija
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:31 am

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Owners unite on youth development; Islander club participation while dividing on pro/rel; jersey removal celebrations as owners meeting come to a close

Image
BSL owners take a picture before entering Season 7 RBSA Owners meetings


BUSUKUMA- New BSL Commissioner Randolf Cherry, before a ball has been kicked between Banijan clubs, has overseen a large overhaul of how the Banijan Soccer League, and how professional club soccer in general in the country, operates. A lot of these changes, with his own support, that he convinced the RBSA and the owners to go along with, shows and reflects the growing clout that he has established in the country. He was always widely respected in the soccer community, and many criticized Adama Sowe originally for his firing of Randolf Cherry- accusing him of being trigger-happy after a few bad games. He was largely able to escape long-term criticism, however, as Marcus Waters led a stunning comeback in qualifying, going unbeaten in 10 consecutive qualification matches to punch Banija's first ever ticket to the World Cup Finals, in their seventh effort to qualify for the tournament. And, of course, with a win in his 3rd game, has Banija at its highest ever rank in the standings- 41st.

Randolf Cherry, of course, was able to become the Commissioner of the Banijan Soccer League. After originally being seen critically for encouraging players to play abroad, in the World Cup 80 cycle, owners felt as he gave the league a fairer shake. He encouraged youth development within the country, and encouraged the league to continue doing what it was doing to achieve growth, both on and off the field. Randolf Cherry was a natural fit for Commissioner, and was hired. Of course, that means he, alongside RBSA Chairman Adama Sowe, is one of the two most powerful men in the country when it comes to the game in Banija, and we'll have to see how the dynamic plays about between the popular former NT manager, and the Chairman who has brought a major tournament to Banijan soil, as well as being credited with being one of the main architects of the recent renaissance of Banijan soccer.

The owners meetings are now concluded. We covered three issues into our preview, but the owners ended up voting on five seperate issues. We'll go over each vote, one by one, so that everyone can understand how the process went down, and what these votes mean for the sport in Banija. As a refresher, all of these votes were taken by all the 68 professional clubs within Banija- the 20 member clubs of the BSL, plus the 48 regional league clubs. And, of course, these rules go by a unique, multi-majority system. The rules, shortly before the votes occured, were updated. For a vote to pass it needs the following- at least 6 votes from each regional league, at least 14 votes from the Banijan Soccer League, and it needs 2/3 support from all the owners- at least 46 votes in total. The high bar, of course, ensures multiple things. For one, it ensures that the interests of each regional league are not ignored. Secondly, it ensures that any decision has the overwhelming(70%) support of the BSL. And, the 2/3s supermajority ensures that there is a large amount of consensus, across the country. And, as a disclaimer, ayes are listed first, and the nays are listed second. So 2-0 would mean 2 votes in favor, and none against. So without further ado....

1. Youth Development

Northwestern League: 12-0
Lower Coastal League: 12-0
Northern League: 12-0
Southern League: 11-1
Banijan Soccer League: 17-3
Overall vote: 64-4 (proposal passes)

The vote was rather unsurprising- the regional leagues were always strongly in favor of this move. The Mukegara Warriors were the only team that voted against this move from any of the regional leagues, citing that the move was 'unnecessary' and would be quite an investment for clubs that do not make much money, like the Warriors. The BSL vote was interesting, as three clubs opposed the move- the Herzegovina Phoenix, Istria City FC, and Busukuma AC. Those three clubs operate their own youth academies already, and were expected to oppose the proposal. However, this means that 8 regional youth academies will be established- one for each region in Banija, and one for the entire brand nation of the Busoga Islands(more on this later).

This was something that was always going to garner support from a majority of the clubs, and the academies will begin this season. They do not have nationality requirements, but due to their newness, many expect that the academies will only have a couple of foreigners, at least for the first couple of seasons. Players will be able to play in the academies from the ages of 13-18.

2. Minimum age lowered to 16(BSL only)
Banijan Soccer League: 20-0(proposal passes)

The age minimum to play in the regional leagues was already 16, and the move to raise the minimum to 18, last season, was met with much criticism. Therefore, in a unanimous vote, the owners decided to lower the minimum age to 16, to better able to development young talent within the country. Of course, this comes alongside the establishment of regional youth academies. The proposal from Phoenix ownership, that they wanted to tag along to this vote, that each team must carry at least one under-21 on their roster, did not come to a vote. Many owners felt as if the move would restrict their managers in making the best personnel decisions they felt for themselves, and without much support, the Phoenix decided not to force the issue. Keep an eye on this topic on the horizon, however.

3. Yellow Card Jersey Removall
Northwestern League: 11-1
Lower Coastal League: 10-2
Northern League: 11-1
Southern League: 11-1
Banijan Soccer League: 10-10(BSL veto- proposal fails to get support of minimum 14 BSL owners)
Overall vote: 53-15(proposal fails; BSL veto)

This was an issue, that, surprisingly, came up all the way to a vote, and caused quite a fierce amount of debate. This was talked a lot about after Toyuwa Okafor's yellow card in the World Cup opener, celebrating the team's opening goal- he removed his jersey, and received what many Banijans felt to be a harsh yellow. While it wasn't talked about much beyond that, the issue was brought up at the owner's meeting. The question, of course, was a simple one- why? Why should it be an automatic yellow card to remove your jersey? It's part of the Laws of the Game, handed down by the WCC- something that Banijans cannot change internationally. However, once it was discovered that the RBSA was the chief governing authority for the Banijan game, the question was brought up- why not change it for domestic matches?

The proposal, brought forward by the Lwanga Lions, was that jersey removal would only result in a yellow card if the jersey was thrown into the stands, or another position where it was not easily accessible by the player that would delay the start of the game in search of the jersey. It brought up fierce debate. Many regional league sides were immediately supportive, saying that it would allow the passion of the game to be better reflected by the players, in an age where money is becoming more of a big thing. But it was fiercely opposed by Randolf Cherry, the commissioner, and a number of BSL clubs. Randolf Cherry told owners that the move would 'hurt Banija in the long run', for multiple reasons.

He said that since the rule would not change internationally, at the club or the national level, there would still be competitions where Banija is subject to that rule. It could hurt the national team, as if domestic-based players were used to being allowed to remove their shirts, they could do so on the international stage and earn unnecessary yellow cards, which could lead to suspensions. He said that it would really hurt at the club international game, as if players for Banijan clubs were used to shirt removal, they could do so in Champions Cup or Globe Cup games, which would hurt. And, lastly, it would hurt international recruitment of players- the league was growing, and more stars would be coming to play in Banija. Would it be harder if the Banijan Laws of the Game didn't match exactly with the international laws?

And so they voted, and the opposition was largely from the BSL. Herzegovina City FC, Busukuma AC, Hoima Warriors, Herzegovina Phoenix, Istria City FC, Jinja City FC, Rukunbi FC, Dukuma SC, Mynda Electra, and Bunyoro RSC were the 10 clubs who opposed the move. And, of course, it was enough for a BSL veto of the decision. Much of the lobbying among owners, of course ,was done by Dukuma SC and Mynda Electra- the league's two foreign owned clubs were strongly opposed to the rule change, and they, working heavily with Randolf Cherry, ensured that the BSL could exercise its veto.

4. Busoga Island Relations
It was an interesting decision, to talk about how the Busoga Islands would work in regard to the rest of the RBSA. With their independence, of course, their clubs were no longer in Banija- but still part of the RBSA. And with the relatively quick formation of the Busoga Islander Football Association(BIFA), there were a lot of questions to remain answered. What would happen to the RBSA's six Busoga clubs? What would happen to Busogan players who play for the Banijan national team? Would the Busoga Islands start its own national team? It's own league? Those questions were answered at these meetings. Many owners give credit to Randolf Cherry, for brokering a peace in what has been a tense time for Banija-Busoga relations.

It was a three part agreement. The first part, regarding professional soccer within the Busoga Islands. There would be no establishment of a Busoga Island national league. The six professional clubs on the island would remain full members of the RBSA, with full voting rights. Meaning, of course, that Dukuma SC and Lakiska SC could remain part of the Banijan Soccer League. Furthermore, as the clubs themselves would remain members of the RBSA, the country would not enter international competition under multi-associational rules- they would still be subject to a single association's rules, the Royal Banijan Soccer Association.

The second part, was in regards to establishment of a national team. BIFA would be the sole operator of the national teams of the Busoga Islands. Busoga Islands would not inherit any records from the RBSA- they would start with a clean plate. They would not be allowed to use the nicknames of the Banijan national team, and they would not be allowed to wear green as their primary color- which wasn't expected to be an issue, but just to prevent confusion with the Banijans.

The third part, was in regards to player eligibility to represent either side. There is no political agreement between Busukuma and Lakiska(the Busogan capitol) on dual-citizenship. They have decided to jointly enter what is called the "two-generation birth agreement." Anyone born on the Busoga Islands, who has a parent(by blood) born on the Busoga Islands, or who has a grandparent(by blood) born on the Islands, is eligible to represent the Busoga Islands. Anyone born in Banija, who has a parent(by blood) born in Banija, or who has a grandparent(by blood) born in Banija, or who is otherwise a Banijan citizen, is eligible to represent the Banija. Players eligible to represent both the Busoga Islands and the Kingdom of Banija would permanently cap-tie themselves by playing for either national team at any level- it doesn't align perfectly with international cap tie rules, but they figure this is how they will best keep relations going. Games where players could be cap-tied would only count with the AOCAF. And, lastly, players who are migrants to the Islands without ancestral connection to the islands are eligible to play for the Islands, while players who fit that category with Banija will play for Banija. For migrants who have lived in both countries and have no ancestral connection to either, they shall be eligible to represent the country they lived in first, regardless of citizenship, IF they are not already eligible to represent another country.

The Kasekende exemption was also written into the rules- any player who, by the terms of the agreement, is not eligible to represent Banija, but represented Banija before the signing of this agreement, is eligible to represent the Kingdom of Banija. That would, of course, apply to two members of the national team who went to the World Cup- Berihu Abeselome, and Delbin Kasekende. Abeselome, of course, is expected to pick the Islands, but Kasekende is seen as being 'torn' in what direction he would like to go towards.

5. Pro/Rel
Northwestern League: 12-0
Lower Coastal League: 12-0
Northern League: 12-0
Southern League: 11-1
Banijan Soccer League: 14-6
Overall vote: 61-7(proposal passes)


Promotion/relegation, after much debate, is finally here to stay in Banija. For the first time in the young history of professional soccer in this country, a promotion/relegation system has been developed. Lots of compromises, lots of negotiations, but ultimately, almost 90% of owners voted in favor of the proposal. However, it was not that popular at the top-flight, as 6 Banijan Soccer League owners voted against it- one more owner, and the proposal would have been vetoed. However, Randolf Cherry's push has been successful. The proposal also reforms the RBSA's entries to the Serie B Champions Cup.

Here is the proposal that passed. There would be one spot exchanged every year- or, in layman's terms, one team promoted, and one team relegated, on an annual basis. The team that finishes in last place, in the BSL, would be the team that would be relegated. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Relatively simple. But where would they be relegated?

Well, there are the four regional leagues, that would stay intact. Each league, of course, has a champion that enters into the Serie B Champions Cup Qualification Playoff. That playoff would be renamed the BSL promotion playoffs. The first round would be similar to before. Regional league champs randomly drawn against each other for a two-legged tie. But, the winner of each tie would advance to the BSL promotion final, played at the Stadium of the Restoration. The winner would be promoted to the BSL. The other three teams, that did not win the playoff, would then qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup- ending RBSA frustration that one club always end up with no reward for winning their league.

The leagues would then be realigned, if necessary, to reflect the entry of the former BSL side. However, the Corizova exemption was written into the rules. IT states, "if a regional league team wins their league three seasons in a row, they shall automatically be promoted, and the playoff shall not occur that season." With Corizova the only back to back champs in the last two seasons, this would immediately effect them- if they win it a third time, they will be automatically promoted to the Banijan Soccer League, as a credit to what they've done the past two seasons when promotion/relegation was not possible.

Plenty of fodder to talk about as the season will come up soon to a start. But these are how the five major issues were resolved at these meetings. Until next time!
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Postby Banija » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:38 am

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Rosters

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Teams in the BSL-
Underlined players are Banijan internationals(called up either in World Cup 80 or AOCAF LVI).
Nationality is listed if they are not Banijan.
Italicized players are internationals for a foreign country.
1. Herzegovina City Football Club.
Manager: Brian Emerson(Cosumar). 75 years old, 2nd year at club.
Formation: 4-2-3-1.
GK #16 Delbin Kasekende. Age 33(Busoga Islands). Captain.
LB #3 Alifa Diawara. Age 31.
CB #5 Lazlo Kearney. Age 31(Nephara)
CB #4 Abate Brehanu. Age 28.
RB #2 Zinnah Atieno. Age 29.
LCM #14 Elias Abate. Age 34.
RCM #7 Boimah Ba. Age 35. Former Banijan international.
RAM #10 Aarón Aiza. Age 28(Equestrian States). Played in the 80th World Cup Finals.
CAM #17 Lucas Lucius Vit. Age 31(Natanians & Nosts). Starter in World Cup 80 Qualifying.
LAM #22 Jackson Oglobelo. Age 23(Abaja)
ST #9 Ennis Leishman. Age 31(New West Gallia)

2. Jinja City Football Club.
Manager: Alexander Bumba. Age 48, 7th year at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Corren Dankworth. Age 32(Nephara).
LB # 2 Fyodor Khalturin. Age 26(Arioslavia).
CB #15 Jio Eyawanifamni. Age 27(Abaja).
CB #13 Clarice Easter. Age 29(Chromatika)
RB #18 Yuri Poltoranin. Age 24(Arioslavia).
LM #7 Nikolay Menshikov. Age 27(Arioslavia).
CM #24 Daniel Asres. Age 32. Captain.
CM #10 Malachi Gallagher. Age 32(Nephara)
RM #23 Sia Fall. Age 26.
RS #9 Lin Moon. Age 28(Chromatika). Played in World Cup 79 & 80 Qualifying; did not play in World Cup Finals for either edition.
LS #11 Deonte Bradley. Age 29(Eastfield Lodge).

3. Busukuma Athletic Club.
Manager: Ferran Rey(Juvencus). 44 years old, 2nd year at the club.
Formation: 3-4-3 diamond.
GK #1. Ivan Ignatiev. Age 25(Arioslavia).
RB #2 Oliver Scott. Age 31(Schottia)
CB #15 Gereh Kinteh. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
LB #6 Celty O'Mercury. Age 25(Cosumar).
LM #7 Graven Braehead. Age 27(Brenicia).
CDM #18 Phumelele Stofile. Age 24.
CAM #21 Toyuwa Sall. Age 36. Captain
RM #8 Ansu Cisse. Age 29.
LW #7 Baslios Temesgen. Age 30.
ST #9 Alex Sandoval. Age 25(Commonwealth of Baker Park)
RW #7 Alanso Tamba. Age 24.

4. Hoima Warriors.
Manager: Jehan Blair(Cosumar). 62 years old. Former Amazonesta National Team manager.
Formation: 4-1-3-2.
GK #1 Chase Rushden. Age 32(Nephara).
LB #3 Daluxolo Matshikiza. Age 27.
CB #2 Kawsu Kaba. Age 18.
CB #4 Wenceslaw. Age 27(Cosumar).
RB #19 Pablo Castroneves. Age 21(Marianne).
CDM #14 Samba Ndaw. Age 27.
LM #13 Julian Turner. Age 26(Dunnes).
RM #6 John Katumba.Captain. Age 38.
CAM #10 Marbue Owusu. Age 27.
LS #7 Andrey Soltykov. Age 24(Arioslavia).
RS #11 Derick Mason. Age 33(Schottia).

5. Istria City Football Club.
Manager: Erechtheus Condos. Age 72, 8th and final season at club.
Starters: 4-2-3-1
GK #1 Gabriel Negus. Age 37.
RB #2 Ephrem Selassiee. Age 22.
CB #5 Maximiliane Purcell(Nephara). Age 30.
CB #4 Noah Geteye. Age 28.
LB #18 Travis Cherenebereck. Age 28.
CDM #19 Robel Abeselome. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
CDM #15 Ablie Kah. Age 20.
LM #7 Atsushi Ryu. Age 27(Dunnes).
CAM #10 Girma Asmelash. Age 32.
RM #11 Addis Anwar. Age 32. Captain.
ST #9 Assefa Yitebarke. Age 25.

6. Umbazi Metropolitan Sporting Club.
Manager: Yafet Kahsai. Age 53, 6th year at club.
Starters: 5-3-2 w/ sweeper
GK #1 Assefa Berhane. Age 29.
RWB #2 Siafa Diop. Age 30(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Araiy. Age 23(Dainer).
SW #3 Hatabu Ouattara. Age 25.
CB #4 Jalang Ba. Age 24.
LWB #12 Wasa Dibba. Age 19.
LM #25 Asa Sylla. Age 29.
CM #8 Gutinho. Age 34(Western Sunrise Islands). Captain.
RM #17 Ervin Jon-Mikel. Age 31(Abaja)
LS #7 Vicente Bernardes. Age 35(Amazonesta).
RS #11 Demetro Laterza. Age 27(Juvencus).

7. Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club.
Manager: Adam Jeffreys(Razenthuria), 57 years old. 1st year at Bunyoro RSC.
Starters: 4-2-4.
GK #1 Ke Linkenhorne. Age 29(The Askari Union).
RB #2 Obey Chidiebere. Age 23.
CB #3 Chikondi Tokodoni. Age 37. Captain.
CB #5 Axel Fauler. Age 27(Nephara).
LB #14 Gugulethu Feza. Age 24.
RCM #12 Ihejirika Akachi. Age 35.
LCM #11 Jumaane Folami. Age 34(Busoga Islands).
RW #7 Kobina Irsay. Age 34.
ST #10 Guillame Fontanils. Age 20(Acronius). Came off the bench in World Cup 80 Qualifying.
ST #9 Bruno Rodrigues. Age 34(Amazonesta).
LW #8 Davide Waguespack. Age 22(Gloriax).

8. The Lwanga Lions.
Manager: Simon Wanjala. Age 39. 2nd year at club. Former starter on the Banijan National Team.
Starters: 4-2-1-3
GK #1 Leandro Garcia. Age 35(Amazonesta). Captain.
RB #2 Beheilu Dessalegne. Age 35.
CB #4 Assefa Roni. Age 35.
CB #5 Negus Kebede. Age 29(Busoga Islands).
LB #6 Kirubel Ayele. Age 35.
RCM #20 Basant Servaia. Age 28.
LCM #25 Assi Finhas. Age 34.
CAM #10 Xavier Melchoir. Age 18(Taeshan).
LW #7 Phineas Antwell. Age 22(Cosumar)
ST #9 Gizaw Mignote. Age 36.
RW #11 Samba Singateh. Age 19.

9. Askatasuna Football Club.
Manager: Protesilaus Soter. Age 72, 12th and final year at the club.
Starters: 4-4-2
GK #1 Hakim Gukssa. Age 28.
RB #2 Melku Atikem. Age 34(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Ekwueme Ikenna. Age 19.
CB #4 Akumjeli Chinua. Age 19.
LB #18 Malek Abdullah(Huda). Age 34.
LM #17 Diego Furtado. Age 33(Amazonesta).
CM # 13 Michael Negasso. Age 34. Captain.
CM #15 Alem Bekira. Age 34.
RM #12 Martin Lucey. Age 20(Dunnes).
RS #7 Alulawe Ju. Age 30(Abaja)
LS #11 Rada Ezera. Age 28.

10. Kitara Athletic Association.
Manager: Flip Kollias. Age 61, 7th and final year at club.
Starters: 3-3-1-3
GK #1 Sago Nagatomo. Age 24(Kita-Hinode)
RB #2 Enzo Capistran. Age 37(Amazonesta).
CB #15 Melech Gersem. Age 30.
LB #19 Abraham Godefai. Age 24.
LM #11 Ahmad Abdullah. Age 21(Abaja)
CDM #14 Thomas Owen. Age 22(Audioslavia)
RM #8 Mekbib Asmelash. Age 32.
CAM #10 Francis Getachew. Age 34. Captain.
LW #7 Nick Haller. Age 26(Commonwealth of Baker Park).
ST #9 Ikshu Amitabh. Age 19(Busoga Islands).
RW #8 Taye Negasso. Age 32.

11. Mynda Electra -
Manager: Jose Gonzalez(Amazonesta). Age 64, 5th year at the club.
Starters: 4-4-2
GK #1 Zinnah Ndiaye. Age 32.
RB #2 Barry Horlock. Age 34(Nephara).
CB #4 Samson Gashi. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Saa Mensah. Age 33. Twin brother of Blama Mensah.
LB #3 Blama Mensah. Age 33. Twin brother of Saa Mensah.
RM #17 Ngũnjiri Wachiuru. Age 24
CM #15 Trokon Sesay. Age 32.
CM #12 Miguel Freitas. Age 36(Amazonesta). Captain.
LM #8 Kwame Gebremichael. Age 34.
LS #11 Sarh Sane. Age 35.
RS #9 Meherka Edris. Age 35.

12. Aissa United Football Club.
Manager: Gregory Banis, Age 55. 6th year at club.
Starters: 5-4-1
GK #1 Yonas Tolla. Age 38.
RWB #2 Bona Demessie. Age 35.
RCB #15 Gathu Wamiti. Age 31.
CB #15 Osmar Tavares da Silva. Age 30(Amazonesta).
LCB #17 Eduardo Val De La Salles. Age 25(Amazonesta)
LB #7 Gobista Charlotta. Age 20.
RM #18 Amde Melos. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
CM #8 Amare Degu. Age 36. Captain.
CM #10 Nweke Obasee. Age 20.
LM #23 Jajah Chee. Age 20.
ST #9 Kawsu Mboge. Age 33.

13. Isipongo Flash.
Manager: Chuka Belonwu. 43 years old, 3rd year at club.
Starters: 4-3-2-1
GK #1 Jumu Sanneh. Age 23.
RB #2 Yashpal Gopaal. Age 18(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Malo Izijurim. Age 28(Abaja)
CB #4 Jayce Howard. Age 31(Brenicia). Captain.
LB #14 Raphael Wendimu. Age 29.
LM #7 Youssef Negasi(Huda). Age 34.
CM #18 Jared Clotterman. Age 32(Schottia).
RM #17 Elias Bayou. Age 35.
RCAM #20 Lebna Ephram. Age 33.
LCAM #10 Natnael Dagmawi. Age 33.
ST #9 Noah Lamont Hill. Age 31(Devonta).

14. Dukuma Sporting Club.
Manager: Yaser Karimi(Al Qurija). 62 years old, 2nd year at club(member of Karimi family, owners of Dukuma SC)
Starters: 4-4-2 diamond.
GK #1 Ayman Jawdat Sultan. Age 23(Al Qurija)
RB #14 Émerson Morais. Age 32.
CB #5 Mohan Thakshak. Age 20(Busoga Islands).
CB #6 Amde Gersem. Age 36.
LB #23 Baslios Fisseha. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
CDM #21 Vyomaang Yuval. Age 19(Busoga Islands).
LM #7 Kinuthia Warari. Age 32.
RM #18 Ivanildo. Age 32(Amazonesta). Captain.
CAM #10 Andre Mesay. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
RS #19 Girum Mikias. Age 30(Busoga Islands).
LS #9 Kurtis Southwell. Age 27(Brenicia).

15. Rukunbi Football Club.
Manager: Teague Spanos. Age 62, 9th year at club.
Starters: 4-3-3
GK #1 Jelanee Jideofor. Age 20.
RB #2 Dembo Jawara. Age 36. Captain.
CB #5 Berhane Abdikarim. Age 36. (Twin brother of Henoke Abdikarim).
CB #3 Henoke Abdikarim. Age 36. (Twin brother of Berhane Abdikarim).
LB #12 Anwar Elshaday. Age 34.
LM #13 Mutsuhito Barbarossa. Age 29(Busoga Islands).
CM #10 Addis Medr. Age 31.
RM #6 Upanshu Paramartha. Age 19(Busoga Islands).
LW #11 Nwabudike Ugonna. Age 20.
ST #9 Amanuel Bsrat. Age 28.
RW #24 Robel Beselot. Age 29.

16. Lakiska Sporting Club.
Manager: Winad-Lenpi Xlo(Qusmo). 1st season at club. Hired before matchday 20 of Season 7.
Starters: 4-5-1
GK #1 Zachariah Elmer. Age 33(Nephara).
RB #2 Noah Abdimelech. Age 35. Captain.
CB #5 Bezerra Lemos. Age 25(Amazonesta)
CB #4 Gabriel Braga. Age 30(Amazonesta)
LB #19 Zeru Beryihun. Age 27.
LM #7 Markos Dalu. Age 31(Busoga Islands).
CM #15 Mazzi Azubuike. Age 20.
CDM #18 Joseph Williamson. Age 26(Busoga Islands).
CM #14 Kizza Okafor. Age 19.
RM #8 Ezekiel Wakayo. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
ST #9 Ousman Babaja. Age 25(Busoga Islands).

17. Busukuma Force.
Manager: Tibebu Eyoel. 69 years old. 6th year at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Mazzi Azubuike. Age 19.
RB #13 Obi Newada. Age 22.
CB #5 Madu Chi. Age 21.
CB #4 Tesheme Yalaxow. Age 36.
LB #14 Molefi Mompati. Age 29.
RM #17 Tony Brough. Age 35(Brenicia).
CM #14 Uzochi Okparro. Age 19.
LCM #15 Fabio Hamamura. Age 28(Amazonesta)
LM #8 Ansu Araya. Age 36(Busoga Islands).
RS #11 Meba Keya. Age 37.
LS #9 Mateo Keepton. Age 32(Nephara)

18. Herzegovina Phoenix.
Manager: Mark Grayson(Nephara). 48 years old, 2nd year at club.
Formation: 4-2-1-3
GK #1 Gersem Markos. Age 35.
RB #2 Vastyn Tredillick. Age 30(Mareibat).
CB #3 Yafet Fekadu. Age 36. Captain.
CB #5 Eba Feleke. Age 33.
LB #4 Aaron Eyob. Age 35(Busoga Islands).
RDM #15 Orion Etzebeth. Age 31(Nephara).
LDM #14 Amadi Uche. Age 19.
CM #8 Lucia Silkemark. Age 25(Nephara)
LW #7 Abram Senay. Age 36.
ST #9 Corvid Alemane. Age 31(Nephara).
RW #11 Josef Lawerenz. Age 19(Equestrian States).

19. Busembe Timberwolves.
Manager: Zemenfes Nataye. Age 70. 6th and final year at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Edgar Farsal-Smith. Age 20(Mercedini).
RB #2 Berihu Temesgen. Age 27.
CB #4 Filije Kolley. Age 23(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Emeka Jajah. Age 20.
LB #3 HIstero Golazo. Age 32(Amazonesta).
RM #7 Melaku Tesfa. Age 32.
CM #19 Mazi Chidea. Age 20.
CM #12 Utpal Ishan. Age 20(Busoga Islands).
LM #8 Madhav Oojam. Age 19(Busoga Islands).
RS #11 Brendon Ediomgi. Age 34(Abaja). Captain.
LS #9 Kabir Jobateh. Age 23.

20. Bwubanza City Soccer Club.
Manager: Tessema Negasi. Age 64. 4th year at club.
Formation: 3-1-3-3
GK #1 Bobby MIkelson. Age 20(Mercedini).
RB #14 Chizoba Uwaezuoke. Age 22.
CB #4 David Bzuayehu. Age 35. Captain.
LB #18 Uchea Chuks. Age 21.
CDM #21 Mazi Chinweuba. Age 19.
RM #17 Uchey Nwankwo. Age 18.
CM #18 Odion Obasea. Age 22.
LM #12 Chika Akachi. Age 21.
RW #7 Jelani Orjey. Age 20.
ST #9 Manasses Teshome. Age 27.
LW #11 Torrey Mugabe. Age 19.
Last edited by Banija on Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
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Banija Domestic Sports
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Postby Banija » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:44 am

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Basic Information

Image


The Royal Banijan Soccer Association is proud to present the Banijan Soccer League to the sporting world. This is the top division of soccer in both Banija and the Busoga Islands, competing with gridiron football to be Banija's most pouplar sport. The Banijan Soccer League consists of 20 teams, the same 20 franchises as there are every year, that will compete in two different competitions. It is currently ranked 44th by the UICA, an improvement of 20 places from the last ranking, and 70 places from two seasons. They compete in the Banijan Soccer League, which is a double round-robin league-style competition. The other major competition that BSL teams compete in is the RBSA Cup, which is a single-elimination knockout tournament with all 68 professional clubs in Banija, the 48 in Banija's regional league system and the 20 in the Banijan Soccer League.

There is limited promotion/relegation- the best regional league champion, as decided in a playoff, is promoted, and the last place team in the Banijan Soccer League is relegated every season. The format followed for league play is a double round-robin. The format followed for the RBSA Cup is each round the opponents are randomly drawn against each other, with one side randomly being picked as the home side. All 48 regional league sides are entered first, with a one-off match in the 1st round to whittle them down to 24, and then another one off match to whittle them down to 12. Then the 20 BSL sides are entered at this stage, with 32 teams in general in the competition, and it is a single elimination competition where each match must have a winner, with the final played at the Stadium of the Restoration. The winner of the previous Banijan Soccer League and the RBSA Cup open each season with the Kabaka's Cup, the Banijan supercup.

The Banijan Soccer League currently competes in the UICA Champions Cup, the UICA Globe Cup, the Cygnus Cup, the Atlantian Oceania Champions League, and the Vilitan Cove Invitational. Currently, the BSL champion qualifies for the Champions Cup and the Atlantian Oceania Champions League, while the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams qualify for the Globe Cup. If the Kabaka's Cup winner does not qualify for the Cygnus Cup or UICA competition, they will qualify for the Vilitian Cove International. If they do qualify for another international club competition, per VCI rules, the RBSA will use another acceptable form of competitive criteria, at its discretion.

The league is traditionally dominated by the 'Super 5' clubs- Istria City FC, Herzegovina City FC, Busukuma AC, Hoima Warriors, and Jinja City FC, that are Banija's 5 biggest teams in Banija's 5 biggest cities. The Herzegovina Phoenix, however, are also on the rise, recently clinching a berth in UICA competition. These are the richest, most well-supported, and generally the most competitive teams within Banija. These 5 clubs generally occupy the top 5 places in the standings, in any order, at the end of every season.

Teams in the BSL- Underlined players are Banijan internationals. Nationality is listed if they are not Banijan.
1. Herzegovina City Football Club. HZCFC. Location(city, region): Herzegovina City, Moravica. Colors: Blue & Gold.
(Image)
Star Field, Capacity of 62,600.


2. Jinja City Football Club. JCFC. Location: Jinja City, Hangaza. Colors: Green & White.
(Image)
BCEL Stadium. Capacity of 52,400.


3. Busukuma Athletic Club. BAC. Location: Busukuma, National Capitol Region. Colors: Red & White.
(Image)
Lukwago Field, Capacity of 37,000.


4. Hoima Warriors. HOI. Location: Hoima, Ankole. Colors: Red & Silver.
(Image)
PG Arena, Capacity of 44,500.


5. Mynda Electra. MSC. Location: Mynda, Aksum. Colors: Forest Green.
(Image)
Kawesa Stadium. Capacity of 41,000.


6. Umbazi Metropolitan Sporting Club. UMSC. VFC. Location: Umbazi, Buganda. Colors: Pink.
(Image)
Buganda Regional Stadium, Capacity of 29,000.


7. Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club. BRSC. Location: Dodomo, Bunyoro. Colors: Blue.
(Image)
Dodomo City Stadium, Capacity of 33,000.


8. The Lwanga Lions. LLSC. Location: Lwanga, Buganda. Colors: Orange.
(Image)
Lwanga City Arena, Capacity of 26,500.


9. Askatasuna Football Club. AFC. Location: Askatasuna, Aksum. Colors: Green & White.
(Image)
St. Sava Park, Capacity of 37,500.


10. Kitara Athletic Association. KAA. Location: Sisonke, Kitara. Colors: Blue & white.
(Image)
Sisonke City Park, Capacity of 31,000.


11. Istria City Football Club. RFC. Location: Downtown Istria, Moravica. (Neighborhood in the center of Istria in the National Capitol Region). Colors: Orange & Black.
(Image)
Kabonero III Field, Capacity of 48,000.


12. Aissa United Football Club. AUFC. Location: Aissa, Hangaza. Colors: Blue & white.
(Image)
Hangaza Unified Stadium, Capacity of 55,000.


13. Isipongo Flash. IF. Location: Isipongo, Buganda. Colors: Black & white.
(Image)
Isipongo City Field. Capacity of 27,000.


14. Dukuma Sporting Club. DSC. Location: Dukuma, Busoga. Colors: Purple & white.
(Image)
Orange Field, capacity of 17,000.


15. Rukunbi Football Club. RFC. Location: Istria, Moravica. Located in Western Istria, the largest of the 5 districts of Istria with 38% of the city's population and generally considered to be culturally distinct from the rest of the city. Colors: Light Green & White.
(Image)
Eastern Stadium. Capacity of 37,000.


16. Lakiska Sporting Club. LSC. Location: Lakiska, Busoga. Colors: Red & black.
(Image)
Lakiska City Field. Capacity of 31,000.


17. Busukuma Force. BKF. Location: Busukuma, National Capitol Region. Colors: Sky Blue
(Image)
Mugisha III Memorial Stadium, capacity of 49,000


18. Herzegovina Phoenix. Location: Vidizi, Moravica(suburb of Herzegovina City). Colors: Purple.
(Image)
Phoenix Stadium. Capacity of 25,000.


19. Busembe Timberwolves. BT. Location: Busembe, Kitara. Colors: Gray, Black, and White.
(Image)
The Wolf's Den. Capacity of 44,000.


20. Bwubanza City Soccer Club. BCSC. Location: Bwubanza, Bunyoro. Colors: Blue
Image
Bwubanza City Park, capacity of 40,000.


National Stadium
The Stadium of the Restoration
Image
The National Stadium for a RBSA Cup final. Location: Busukuma. Capacity: 69,000.

Major Rivalries
Istria City Derby between Istria City FC and Rukunbi FC as they are both located on opposite sides of Banija's largest city.
Battle for Hangaza's Soul between Jinja City FC and Aissa United Football Club.
Battle of the Princes between Isipongo Flash & the Lwanga Lions(as both teams are in cities named after former Princes of the Royal Family).
The Capitol City Derby between Busukuma Athletic Club and the Busukuma Force.
Herzegovina City Derby between Herzegovina City FC and Herzegovina Phoenix
North v. South Battle between Istria City FC and Herzegovina City FC, as the two major cities in the Moravica region- Herzegovina CIty FC in the North; Istria City FC in the South.


A 'final day' format is there for the last week of the regular season, with all games kicking off at the same time.
Last edited by Banija on Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Banija
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Postby Banija » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:28 pm

Banijan Regional League System - Season 3 Rosters


Underlined players are Banijan internationals.
Nationality is listed if they are not Banijan.
Italicized players are internationals for a foreign country.

The Northwestern League
1. Corizova United
Manager: Al Iska. 52 years old. 4th season at the club.
Formation: 5-3-2
GK #1 Lemuel Bereket. Age 23
RWB #2 Idirissa Jagne. Age 31.
RCB #5 Dike Ikem. Age 26.
CB #3 Yoro Janneh. Age 26.
LCB #4 Ousman Mansaré. Age 20.
LWB #6 Antouman Baldeg. Age 36.
LM #17 Ogbonna Chioke. Age 22.
CM #10 Okparo Oluchi. Age 21.
RM #8 Alasan Mendy. Age 34.
RS #11 Makang Marenah. Age 31.
LS #12 Bubacar Senghore. Age 27.

2. Barmos United.
Manager: Felipe Bergoglio(Amazonesta). Age 51. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Farai Dulini. Age 31.
RB #20 Moyo Chiroto. Age 32.
CB #4 Nhamo Rugeje. Age 23.
CB #5 Nassim Samir Nejem. Age 19(Al Qurija).
LB #3 Tarirai Towungana. Age 28.
RM #14 Tateguru Chikwava. Age 26.
CM #23 Chenjerai Mugabe. Age 28.
CM #10 Manenji Mwayenga. Age 35. Captain.
LM #12 Baba Mtawarira. Age 31.
RS #15 Tichafara Chimusasa. Age 33.
LS #7 Orji Obi. Age 29.

3. AFC Kosactus.
Manager: Elijah Bryan. Age 49. 6th year at club.
Formation: 3-5-2.
GK #1 Jacob Yusai. Age 32. Captain.
RB #2 Thabo Tsholofelo. Age 26.
CB #5 Chukwudi Oby. Age 22.
LB #4 Ayele Gizaw. Age 19.
RDM #18 Baleseng Lasaro. Age 33.
LDM #14 Thaelo Fenyang. Age 34.
LM #17 Rebatho Magosi. Age 28.
RM #8 Morapedi Tumelo. Age 31.
CAM #8 Baaitse Sesupo. Age 26.
RS #10 Olebogeng Bakang. Age 26.
LS #9 Moagisi Morongwa. Age 25.

4. Suwawa FC.
Manager: Estève Palomer. Age 55(Nuovo Juvencus). 2nd season at club.
Formation: 5-4-1.
GK #1 Ohlud Venzi. Age 21.
LWB #13 Busang Diphetogo. Age 26.
LCB #4 Motswane Loago. Age 30.
CB #5 Basimane Dineo. Age 31.
RCB #16 Uchechee Agu. Age 17.
RWB #19 Ookeditse Theofilo. Age 27.
LM #17 Thito Kgosie. Age 31.
CM #8 Isang Khumo. Age 34.
CM #15 Reginius Kunst. Age 18(Cosumar).
RM #14 Seako Mothibi. Age 26.
ST #12 Mompati Molatedi. Age 31.

5. Tezirbu Foxes
Manager: Mohammed Al-Jeafar. Age 60. 5th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond.
GK #1 Abadar Al-Jeafar. Age 37(first son of the manager). (Busoga Islands)
RB #2 Qaasin Hussein. Age 24. (Busoga Islands)
CB #4 Fihr Muhammed Bousaid. Age 24(Al Qurija)
CB #5 Qaaje Nassar. Age 26(Busoga Islands).
LB #3 Naasif el-Beydoun. Age 31(Busoga Islands).
CDM #18 Muhsin al-Zaki. Age 35(Busoga Islands). Captain.
LM #17 Mashhur Al-Jeafar. Age 18(first son of Abadar Al-Jeafar and grandson of manager Mohammed Al-Jeafar). (Busoga Islands)
RM #8 Zaahir al-Abraham. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
CAM #10 Shakeel el-Salih. Age 23(Busoga Islands).
RS #11 Hamad el-Ghazi. Age 31(Busoga Islands).
LS #9 Kabeer al-Sadri. Age 24(Busoga Islands).

6. Eastern Moravica FC
Manager: Oscar Boateng.. 3rd season at club. 55 years old.
Formation: 4-2-3-1.
GK #1 Randall Perry III. Age 36.
RB #2 Madoda Hani. Age 25.
CB #5 Khuselwa Mankayi. Age 31.
CB #4 Aphiwe Mazwai. Age 30.
LB #3 Phakamile Vavi. Age 27.
RDM #8 Sibabalwe Booi. Age 34. Captain.
LDM #14 Lwandle Nkuhlu. Age 35.
RAM #11 Hlomela Ntini. Age 28.
CAM #10 Onke Ntlokwana. Age 25.
LAM #7 Silumko Ngubenani. Age 24.
CF #9 Khuzani Nzo. Age 23.

7. Jaribga Soccer Club
Manager: Ermacora Dinapoli. Age 60(Juvencus). 2nd season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 diamond.
GK #1 Hibbaan al-Shareef. Age 22(Busoga Islands).
RB #2 Jamaal Khalid Tawfiq. Age 22(Al Qurija)
CB #5 Ashraf el-Tabet. Age 35(Busoga Islands). Captain.
LB #35 Naaji al-Azam. Age 21(Busoga Islands).
CDM #14 Gotay Ajaay. Age 25(Busoga Islands).
LM #17 Naazim el-Usman. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
RM #8 Suhail el-Shams. Age 31(Busoga Islands).
CAM #10 Farajallah el-Baluch. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
LW #11 Tareef el-Salik. Age 28(Busoga Islands).
ST #9 Asmar al-Alli. Age 25(Busoga Islands).
RW #7 Hamza el-Abu. Age 26(Busoga Islands).

8. Slobochia Bears.
Manager: Travis Yeste. Age 51. 5th season at club.
Formation: 3-1-3-2-1
GK #1 Trae Borga. Age 33.
RB #2 Sigqibo Holomisa. Age 31. Triplet brother of other two defenders on the Bears.
CB #5 Bonani Holomisa. Age 31. Triplet brother of other two defenders on the Bears.
LB #3 Sonwabile Biko. Age 31. Triplet brother of other two defenders on the Bears.
CDM #6 Silumko Dana. Age 33.
LM #17 Buzwe Ntshona. Age 21.
CM #8 Carl Stieber. Age 29(Equestrian States). Captain.
RM #7 Mpumelelo Mabandla. Age 32.
LAM #10 Mangaliso Mandela. Age 28.
RAM #14 Ermias Dibaba. Age 21.
ST #9 Dingindawo Pokwana. Age 26.

9. Koszagard City
Manager: David Finebaum. Age 43. Third season at club.
Formation; 4-2-4.
GK #1 Mantek Ranwa. Age 21(Busoga Islands).
RB #2 Fezekile Ndodana. Age 31.
CB #5 Diliza Nqakula. Age 27.
CB #4 Velile Makwetu. Age 28.
LB #3 Wendimu Retta. Age 22.
CM #8 Thamsanqa Pukwana. Age 26.
CM #14 Sizamile Siganeko. Age 25.
LW #11 Mzwakhe Siwani. Age 21.
RS #9 Mesuli Kwenkwe. Age 34.
LS #10 Thandisizwe Mandela. Age 33.
RW #7 Mthuthuzeli Jabavu. Age 36. Captain.

10. Nezrouch Rovers
Manager: Alberto Cuandro(Age 58). Amazonesta. Third season as manager at the club.
Formation: 4-3-3
GK #1 Zigar Singh. Age 27(Busoga Islands).
RB #2 Jamaal el-Akhtar. Age 28(Busoga Islands).
CB #15 Wajdi al-Ben. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
CB #29 Saabiq el-Usman. Age 35(Busoga Islands).
LB #3 Ala al-Din Mahomet El-Hashem. Age 20(Al Qurija)
CM #8 Humaid el-Zamani. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
CM #18 Rajab al-Ben. Age 28(Busoga Islands).
CAM #10 Maazin el-Bilal. Age 35(Busoga Islands).
LW #11 Sad al-Hosseini. Age 31(Busoga Islands).
ST #12 Naasif el-Shaikh. Age 32(Busoga Islands).
RW #7 Masud Latif. Age 23(Busoga Islands).

11. Taramazna United.
Manager: Yasser Qadir. Age 63(Al-Qurija). Third season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Njongo Jabavu. Age 21.
RB #2 Yekile Nzo. Age 25.
CB #5 Fezile Ntsokwana. Age 30.
CB #4 Mthuthuzeli Ngqawana. Age 33.
LB #3 Bhekinkosi Mhlambiso. Age 35.
RM #7 Senzile Rubusana. Age 31. Captain.
CM #14 Mzwandile Tyali. Age 27
CM #8 Viwe Sobukwe. Age 34.
LM #23 Phumlani Ngcaba. Age 25.
LS #9 Lelethu Jongilanga. Age 31.
RS #12 Qondile Gomay. Age 21.

12. Tripoli Foresters
Manager: Josiah Buba(Busoga Islands). 41 years old. Former Banijan men's national team player. Third season as coach. Born & raised in Tripoli.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Waleed al-Aydin. Age 38(Busoga Islands).
RB #2 Subhi el-Zafar. Age 35(Busoga Islands).
CB #5 Gul Dall. Age 21(twin brother of Sahar Dall). (Busoga Islands)
CB #4 Sahar Dall. Age 21(twin brother of Gul Dall). (Busoga Islands)
LB #13 Abdul Haleem el-Minhas. Age 31(Busoga Islands). Captain.
LM #17 Abdur Rasheed el-Dia. Age 33(Busoga Islands).
CM #8 Fateen al-Tabet. Age 28(Busoga Islands).
CM #10 Qusay Binyamin Ajam. Age 19(Al Qurija)
RM #7 Yoosuf al-Zakaria. Age 26(Busoga Islands).
RS #9 Darmal Chughtai. Age 29(Busoga Islands).
LS #11 Samsor Lanjwani. Age 22(Busoga Islands).

Lower Coastal League
1. Kabakono City
Manager: Alan Bettles. 60 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Karafa Touray. Age 22.
RB #12 Juma Jammeh. Age 31.
CB #4 Samba Mbye. Age 34.
CB #5 Gukssa Habibi. Age. 28.
LB #2 Baboucar Kujabi. Age 34.
RM #11 Senay Dejene. Age 21.
CM #10 Kemo Conateh. Age 33.
CM #8 Bahij Wafi Saab. Age 26(Al Qurija)
LM #7 Essa Mansaré. Age 37. Captain.
RS #10 Abdoulaye Ouattara. Age 25.
LS #9 Idi Singhateh. Age 25.

2. Capitol City Football Club.
Manager: Akhona Joyi. 44 years old, 1st season as manager.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Aman Melku. Age 20.
RB #2 Malik Secka. Age 26.
CB #5 Wandi Kouyaté. Age 35. Younger twin brother of Daba Kouyaté.
CB #4 Daba Kouyaté. Age 35. Older twin brother of Wandi Kouyaté.
LB #3 Fekati Abdi. Age 20.
RM #17 Jabr Afzal Abdullah. Age 22(Al Qurija)
CM #18 Yankubah Daramy. Age 32.
CM #14 Landing Biri. Age 31.
LM #7 Sarjo Ceesay. Age 45. Captain. Oldest professional footballer in Banija. Has vowed to play until 45.
RS #9 Fakebba Kolley. Age 25.
LS #10 Solomon Devonte. Age 34(Devonta).

3. Balweye Football Club
Manager: Lukas Bornas. 61 years old. 7th season at club.
Formation: 4-3-3 false nine
GK #1 Bassam Harith Boulos. Age 20(Al Qurija).
RB #2 Paboy Saidykhan. Age 23.
CB #5 Daba Mansaré. Age 26.
CB #4 Kamara Njie. Age 28.
LB #3 Fabba Nyang. Age 31.
CDM #14 Lafi Touray. Age 33. Captain.
RCM #18 Momodou Marong. Age 28.
LCM #8 Ediresa Ceesay. Age 33.
CAM #10 Ebrima Jatta. Age 33.
LW #7 Yaya Kayode. Age 27.
RW #11 Abdoulaye Sanyang. Age 32.

4. Zakuta City
Manager: Al Thompson. 60 years old. 9th season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3.
GK #1 Kausu Biri. Age 32.
RB #2 Malik Ndaw. Age 23.
CB #4 Sidibeh Condé. Age 29.
LB #3 Yaya Condeh. Age 26.
RM #17 Baturou Jawara. Age 30.
CM #18 Yohannes Asmelash. Age 20.
CM #14 Gereh Sanyang. Age 35. Captain.
LM #11 Idris Nur ad-Din Naaji. Age 21(Al Qurija)
RW #7 Omar Coote. Age 26.
ST #9 Kebba Nyang. Age 33.
LW #19 Ablie Sanneh. Age 29.

5. Djoru Athletic
Manager: Pilate Esters. 51 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 4-5-1 Diamond.
GK #1 Aron Hassan. Age 20.
RB #2 Hatabu Manneh. Age 26.
CB #5 Kemo Savaneh. Age 27.
CB #4 Addo Soley. Age 31.
LB #3 Baluta Ndaw. Age 35.
RM #17 Karafa Ngum. Age 28.
RCM #14 Tairu Jobe. Age 31.
CM #8 Abu Condé. Age 33. Captain.
LCM #18 Wassa Ba. Age 34.
LM #19 Ediresa Biri. Age 27.
CF#9 Rasheed Munir Al-Mufti. Age 27(Al Qurija)

6. Ogbordu Diamond Football Club
Manager: Lyle Jordan. 50 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 5-4-1
GK #1 Yankubah Colley. Age 22.
RWB #2 Tamba Baldeh. Age 32.
RCB #5 Kemo Uster. Age 34.
CB #4 Boto Ndiaye. Age 35. Captain.
LCB #3 Sama Mboob. Age 24.
LWB #20 Karamo Mansaray. Age 32.
RM #7 Masane Mbye. Age 28.
CM #10 Bailo Ba. Age 33.
CM #8 Sulayman Janneh. Age 34.
LM #11 Wassa Kairaba. Age 26.
CF#9 Umar Thamir Nagi. Age 22(Al Qurija)

7. Nsade United.
Manager: Noab Jember. 62 years old. 6th season with club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Aviwe Mankayi. Age 30.
RB #2 Eyob Melkamu. Age 33.
CB #5 Mzoxolo Booi. Age 34.
CB #4 Dalumzi Ntsokwana. Age 30.
LB #3 Mesuli Nahola. Age 26.
LM #7 Lwazi Kolisi. Age 33.
CM #10 Thembalethu Mthobeni. Age 26.
CM #8 Sonwabo Najeke. Age 27.
RM #17 Gcobani Dumalisile. Age 25.
RS #11 Xolani Mtoto. Age 34. Captain.
LS #9 Finnr Beckert. Age 20(Equestrian States)

8. AFC Akwadua
Manager: Kidane Chirkos. 47 years old. 2nd year at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 Diamond.
GK #1 Kahsu Alemu. Age 39. Captain.
RB #2 Matanzima Kwenkwe. Age 33.
CB #5 Jikela Maqoma. Age 34.
LB #3 Dumisani Mgijima. Age 35.
CDM #4 Dumile Nombembe. Age 31.
RM #8 Bhekinkosi Mtoto. Age 27.
LM #7 Gqibelo Msutu. Age 33.
CAM #10 Mzwakhe Makepula. Age 26.
RW #11 Lundi Kani. Age 33.
ST #9 Lindani Sisulu. Age 34.
LW #19 Masakhane Sikali. Age 30.

9. Kitara Athletic Society
Manager: Harold Lisle. 50 years old. 8th season at club.
Formation: 4-3-3
GK #1 Luzuko Botile. Age 29.
RB #2 Mangaliso Ndungane. Age 31.
CB #5 Mnyamezeli Ntlokwana. Age 26.
CB #4 Mncedisi Jezile. Age 29.
LB #3 Yekile Nkuhlu. Age 33.
RM #17 Mpilo Mkutukana. Age 35.
CM #10 Lifa Tyali. Age 26.
LM #19 Fundani Mabandla. Age 27.
LW #11 Sidima Pityana. Age 26.
ST #12 Jonginkosi Makepula. Age 34.
RW #7 Teodros Abdellahi. Age 36. Captain.

10. Kwadama Dojo
Manager: Tamrat Asnake. 57 years old. 5th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-1-1
GK #1. Frederick Beech. Age 29.
RB #21 Mũtiga Wachira. Age 33.
CB #3 Wambũgũ Kuria. Age 35.
CB #4 Xolani Ntini. Age 17.
LB #22 Mũgo Wamahiũ. Age 26.
RM #17 Ejigu Meekhbeb. Age 20.
CM #14 Mũrĩranja Nyoike. Age 27.
CM #15 Gĩtari Kamande. Age 30.
LM #11 Mũhũri Wachira. Age 27.
CF #12 Gĩthaiga Gĩchikũ. Age 24.
ST #9 Gĩkonyo Wawerũ. Age 25.

11. Mamari City
Manager: Alengae Workneh. Age 52. 4th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Phumlani Sontonga. Age 33.
RB #2 Jongephi Ngubenani. Age 34.
CB #5 Bulelani Komani. Age 26.
CB #4 Wonga Stofile. Age 27.
LB #3 Khuselwa Jali. Age 33.
RM #17 Melumzi Kolisi. Age 23.
CM #18 Ndothusile Mandela. Age 24.
CM #14 Andile Sandile. Age 24.
LM #11 Mthuthuzeli Mbeki. Age 23.
RS #9 Zandisile Xingwana. Age 34. Captain.
LS #11 Menas Bara. Age 30.

12. Dimbogourou Sporting Club
Manager: Andrew Less. 55 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 Diamond.
GK #1 Hank Llordan. 28 years old.
RB #2 Madoda Stofile. Age 33.
CB #5 Jongephi Ngcuka. Age 34.
LB #3 Zukile Matshikiza. Age 35.
CDM #4 Masakhane Tshwete. Age 33.
RM #17 Mxolisi Thovela. Age 24.
LM #11 Bantu Qoboza. Age 25.
CAM #10 Luxolo Mankayi. Age 24.
RW #7 Mabhuti Mzolisa. Age 32.
ST #9 Sabelo Ngxanga. Age 26.
LW #19 Mesuli Ngonyama. Age 32.

Northern League
1. Cerenus United
Manager: Teoflyos Asres. 61 years old. 6th season at club.
Formation: 3-5-2.
GK #1 Joas Belendia. Age 38. Captain.
RB #2 Bantu Ndodana. Age 33.
CB #5 Naseer Ashfaq Alfarsi. Age 24(Al Qurija)
LB #3 Ayele Zekalu. Age 21.
RM #17 Mandilakhe Tyibilika. Age 28.
CDM #15 Lindani Qoboza. Age 31.
CM #14 Luyolo Ngubenani. Age 35.
CM #18 Abesalom Yitay. Age 21.
LM #11 Xolile Kani. Age 26.
RS #9 Lonwabo Dikana. Age 28.
LS #7 Zanemvula Dalasile. Age 33.

2. Garixas City
Manager: Thembinkosi Siwani. Age 40. 4th season at club. Voted the 'most likely manager to be hired in the BSL' in the next 2-3 years after Season 1 of the regional leagues.
Formation: 5-4-1
GK #1 Luzuko Ngcuka. Age 26.
RWB #2 Vuyani Qoboza. Age 30.
RCB #21 Bantu Mvovo. Age 25.
CB #5 Sani Jameel Hussain. Age 19(Al Qurija)
LCB #17 Zamekile Tyali. Age 35. Captain.
LWB #3 Anathi Mhlambiso. Age 34.
RM #11 Phumlani Ngxanga. Age 26.
CM #14 Zamikhaya Dlulane. Age 32.
CM #18 Masibulele Jadezweni. Age 26.
LM #7 Simphiwe Nkuhlu. Age 33.
CF #9 Mxolisi Gobodo. Age 28.

3. Koksho City
Manager: Adamu Demessie. Age 46. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Mbingeleli Komani. Age 31.
RB #2 Rizwan Sulaiman Ahmad. Age 23(Al Qurija)
CB #5 Menzi Mtoto. Age 27.
CB #4 Sandile Nahola. Age 32.
LB #3 Oaitse Lekgotla. Age 20.
RM #11 Jikela Sandile. Age 33. Captain.
CM #14 Mkhokeli Jabavu. Age 32.
CM #18 Zaminkosi Mkutukana. Age 34.
LM #7 Roberto Tsothe. Age 20.
RS #9 Phumzile Pikisa. Age 28.
LS #11 Fezile Ndodana. Age 31.

4. Nanami Dragons
Manager: Nyaniso Mazwai. 52 years old. 6th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Madoda Jabavu. Age 28.
RB #2 Mzwakhe Tyibilika. Age 24.
CB #5 Mabhuti Makwetu. Age 25.
CB #4 Sizamile Ngonyama. Age 31.
LB #3 Boutros Hussain Kader. Age 18(Al Qurija)
LM #8 Zamekile Joyi. Age 37.
CM #6 Melumzi Booi. Age 33.
CM #10 Simphiwe Dumalisile. Age 34. Captain.
LM #11 Lwandle Maqoma. Age 31.
RS #11 Thukile Qoboza. Age 26.
LS #9 Beca Menas. Age 25.

5. Duntho Sporting Club
Manager: Mitiku Fassilidas. Age 69. 15th and final season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Wang’Ondu Mũrĩu. Age 34. Captain.
RB #2 Mũtegi Wang'Ombe. Age 34.
CB #5 Kĩnyua Thuũ. Age 35.
CB #6 Njaũ Waita. Age 27.
LB #3 Gathogo Mũtiga. Age 35.
RM #11 Mũkundi Wang’Ombe. Age 31.
CM #13 Thuũ Njerũ. Age 32.
CM #10 Rasim Murtaza El-Amin. Age 22(Al Qurija)
LM #7 Kimaru Njoroge. Age 25.
RS #9 Maitho Kanja. Age 34.
LS #12 Kamande Muriũki. Age 25.

6. Okakameb City
Manager: Kristopher Columbio. Age 59. 5th season at club.
Formation: 4-3-3 attacking.
GK #1 Retta Paulos. Age 25.
RB #2 Sabelo Mbeki. Age 24.
CB#4 Wandile Mavuso. Age 33.
CB #5 Matanzima Ndodana. Age 28.
LB #3 Thembinkosi Kolisi. Age 25.
CM #8 Mnyamezeli Sikali. Age 32.
CM #6 Malusi Nkuhlu. Age 26.
CAM #10 Ndothusile Kani. Age 35. Captain.
RW #7 Mthandeni Holomisa. Age 28.
ST #9 Mbulelo Mpumlwana. Age 33.
LW #11 Mabhuti Komani. Age 26.

7. Igulu City FC
Manager: Abraham Akampurira. 38 years old. Former Men's National Team Player. 2nd season as manager.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Eba Salam. Age 38. Captain.
RB #2 Maina Mathenge. Age 33.
CB #5 Gĩtari Njuguna. Age 35.
CB #4 Gĩtũra Gathongo. Age 34.
LB #3 Gachanja Mwai. Age 26.
RM #11 Kóri Vacík. Age 24(Equestrian States)
CM #14 Watene Mũrĩmi. Age 32.
CM #18 Koinange Mathenge. Age 33.
LM #7 Njoroge Kĩnyua. Age 35.
RS #11 Gĩtukũ Kinũthia. Age 27.
LS #9 Kenyatta Mũraya. Age 26.

8. AFC Okahavi
Manager: Markos Yideg. 63 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 Diamond.
GK #1 Nebiyou Alemayehu. Age 26.
RB #2 Mzukisi Xingwana. Age 24.
CB #5 Sibabalwe Pukwana. Age 33.
LB #3 Zenzile Mankayi. Age 31.
CDM #8 Mthuthuzeli Dana. Age 25.
LM #6 Siyaya Dandala. Age 20.
RM #19 Zukisani Mtoto. Age 21.
CAM #10 Ed Maestri. Age 25(Equestrian States).
LW #11 Thembani Dlulane. Age 31. Captain.
ST #9 Madoda Kwenkwe. Age 19.
RW #7 Lifa Sontonga. Age 28.

9. Luguyala Patriots
Manager: Kidane Einku. Age 58. 7th season at club.
Formation: 5-4-1
GK #1 Dula Nahom. Age 38.
RWB #2 Mbingeleli Makwetu. Age 25.
RCB #3 Fikile Tambo. Age 31.
CB #5 Mzukisi Nqakula. Age 35. Captain.
LCB #4 Nqabisile Mda. Age 26.
LWB #6 Luthando Mkutukana. Age 33.
RM #17 Sakhiwo Sandile. Age 34.
CM #8 Zilindile Matshoba. Age 32.
CM #14 Diliza Makepula. Age 26.
LM #11 Dumile Siwani. Age 25.
ST #9 Mgcineni Nombembe. Age 33.

10. Gadive City
Manager: Nebiyou Alemayehu. 49 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Obi Frayzer. 35 years old.
RB #2 Welile Dandala. Age 31.
CB #21 Bhekinkosi Vavi. Age 32.
CB #29 Mcebisi Mgijima. Age 34.
LB #3 Vile Thovela. Age 25.
RM #7 Aphiwe Mtoto. Age 29.
CM #6 Siphelele Gola. Age 35. Captain.
CM #8 Mzwakhe Ntsokwana. Age 35.
LM #11 Thembalethu Nkuhlu. Age 34.
RS #12 Mavo Feza. Age 33.
LS #9 Senzile Hani. Age 28.

11. Thayaferu United
Manager: Liben Dessalegne. 52 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond.
GK #1 Bayissa Beyne. 33 years old.
RB #2 Methuli Tshwete. 28 years old.
CB #5 Dumile Rubusana. 32 years old.
CB #4 Thukile Jabavu. 31 years old.
LB #3 Mthimkhulu Dana. 35 years old.
CDM #6 Xolisa Siganeko. 42 years old. Captain. Father of Zandisile Siganeko.
RM #7 Mzwakhe Ntini. 28 years old.
LM #11 Siphelele Xingwana. 29 years old.
CAM #10 Zandisile Siganeko. 21 years old. Son of Xolisa Siganeko.
RS #8 Luyolo Makinana. 26 years old.
LS #9 Mnyamezeli Mazwai. 31 years old.

12. Selekawe Knights.
Manager: Kiros Etefu. 69 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Thokgamo Gaolathe. Age 21.
RB #2 Fungile Calata. Age 20.
CB #5 Maikutlo Tumelano. Age 17.
CB #4 Asrat Atatafi. Age 20.
LB #3 Thusego Tshenolo. Age 21.
RM #17 Goitseone Sebaga. Age 20.
CM #14 Gathongo Nyamu. Age 34. Captain.
CM #18 Bakang Kutlwano. Age 26.
LM #7 Ookeditse Mothudi. Age 27.
RS #9 Theofilo Loeto. Age 20.
LS #00 Sesupo Kenanao. Age 19.

Southern League
1. Hawabark Boulders
Manager: Alaji Senghore. 61 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Giovanni Falco. Age 22(Equestrian States).
RB #2 Wandi Suso. Age 33.
CB #5 Chinou Chydey. Age 18.
CB #4 Jiba Nzuza. Age 21.
LB #3 Junkung Danso. Age 34.
RM #11 Kairaba Kujabi. Age 26.
CM #14 Masane Mbye. Age 30.
CM #10 Suhayl Mostafa Ahmed. Age 24(Al Qurija)
LM #19 Momodu Touré. Age 34. Captain.
RS #7 Idi Ndour. Age 36.
LS #12 Lafi Kabba. Age 24.

2. Sororo City
Manager: Italo Cola. Age 51(Juvencus). 2nd season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 Diamond.
GK #1 Seedy Dabo. Age 34.
RB #2 Wassa Kabba. Age 30.
CB #5 Laity Dieye. Age 29.
LB #3 Jerold Ferguson. Age 30(Equestrian States).
CDM #6 Lamin Sidibeh. Age 34. Captain.
RM #17 Badara Jarju, Age 26
LM #11 Mus'ad Asad Abdulrashid. Age 23(Al Qurija)
CAM #10 Assan Thiaw. Age 32.
RW #7 Bailo Camara. Age 25.
ST #9 Wandy Kujabi. Age 27.
LW #20 Boubacar Kinte. Age 31.

3. Umbazi FA
Manager: Isa Guissé. 41 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 5-4-1
GK #1 Jamang Ceesay. 37 years old.
RWB #2 Bassirou Kaba. Age 32.
RB #4 Filije Sarr. Age 33.
CB #5 Gisbert Irving. Age 31(Equestrian States). Captain.
LB #6 Chenor Touré. Age 36.
LWB #3 Buwa Kinte. Age 34.
RM #17 Alifa Mboge. Age 26.
CM #14 Kamara Dabo. Age 31.
CM #18 Saihou Coote. Age 35.
LM #11 Samba Diawara. Age 32.
CF #9 Zaki Hameed Karimi. Age 19(Al Qurija)

4. Pumbasa Bears
Manager: Edrissa Condeh. 58 years old. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2.
GK #1 Pateh Sidibeh. Age 33.
RB #2 Paboy Guiss. Age 37. Captain.
CB #5 Thorley Ralston. Age 23(Equestrian States).
CB #4 Kabiru Ngum. Age 27.
LB #3 Sidibeh Dabo. Age 33.
RM #11 Narciso Campo. Age 22(Al Qurija)
CM #10 Kemo Savaneh. Age 32.
CM #14 Landing Jallow. Age 33.
LM #17 Fabba Fadika. Age 24.
RS #9 Kunta Ogoo. Age 25.
LS #12 Lafi Mansaré. Age 32.

5. Dodoma City SC
Manager: Ousman Kouyaté. 60 years old. 5th season at club.
Formation: 4-2-3-1
GK #1 Jumu Jawara. Age 33.
RB #2 Malick Nyang. Age 35.
CB #5 Nfansu Sidibeh. Age 24.
CB #4 Hatabu Mboob. Age 31.
LB #3 Bouba Mansaré. Age 37. Captain.
RDM #6 Alfred Cooper. Age 30(Equestrian States)
LDM #13 Bora Kama. Age 33.
LAM #8 Junkung Ceesay. Age 32.
CAM #10 Kausu Dabo. Age 34.
RAM #11 Luthando Gaika. Age 19.
CF #9 Botros Hanif Saqqaf. Age 27(Al Qurija)

6. Busemlu Park SC
Manager: Jerome Lucksetter. Age 58. 5th season at club.
Formation: 4-3-3 Defensive.
GK #1 Luthando Gaika. Age 19.
RB #2 Jibou Ndour. Age 33.
CB #5 Babaja Condé. Age 34.
CB #4 Faraba Guissé. Age 37.
LB #3 Bamba Ndiaye. Age 31.
CDM #6 Malamin Mboge. Age 26.
RCM #14 Fion Fiedler. Age 27(New Cloudsdale)
LCM #18 Bai Sanyang. Age 24.
RW #11 Cristiano Mazza. Age 35(Osarius).
ST #10 Essa Fadika. Age 35. Captain.
LW #7 Bakary Gaye. Age 35.

7. Boufaya Ravens
Manager: Edward Lettison. 60 years old. 8th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Foday Kuyateh. Age 25.
RB #2 Zakhele Nokwe. Age 21.
CB #5 Sonwabile Botile. Age 22.
CB #4 Fezekile Goniwe. Age 29.
LB #3 Dumisani Vavi. Age 20.
RM #11 Jebel Kouyaté. Age 24.
CM #8 Aviwe Kwenkwe. Age 35. Captain.
CM #14 Yakuba Ndiaye. Age 34.
LM #7 Habib Coulibaly. Age 35.
RS #9 Longcan Mansaré. Age 33.
LS #12 Omar Gaye. Age 32.

8. Mukegara Warriors
Manager: Isaiah Hendleson. 58 years old. 13th season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2.
Warriors only draw from the Mukegara tribe, a small tribe with an estimated population of between 40,000 and 50,000 that worships the Quebecois monarch, who they believe is the reincarnated God.
GK #1 Chigo Kgomotso. Age 32.
RB #2 Zoke Chebwa. Age 34.
CB #5 Abelo Okudlala. Age 35. Captain.
CB #4 Duna Duble. Age 31.
LB #6 Fokazi Dundu. Age 26.
RM #11 Iwe Samkange. Age 25.
CM #14 Tashongedzwa Nengomasha. Age 29.
CM #18 Taropafadzwa Nkomolade. Age 33.
LM #7 Chidawo Mwaruwari. Age 28.
RS #9 Chikwava Tirivangani. Age 34.
LS #10 Itai Taremekedzwa. Age 26.

9. Abomfa United.
Manager: Jongwe Diindingwe. Age 58. 3rd season at club.
Formation: 3-4-3 Diamond.
GK #1 Jelan Chidey. Age 33.
RB #21 Chidy Nnamdi. Age 34.
CB #30 Uchy Obie. Age 24.
LB #25 Jelaney Chononso. Age 33.
CDM #24 Jel Chibueze. Age 32.
RM #27 Chinese Ndidi. Age 34.
LM #31 Hardy Pedersen. Age 27(Equestrian States).
CAM #34 Oby Okorie. Age 25.
RW #39 Chuks Okparra. Age 34. Captain.
ST #29 Uziel Gal Tza'eer. Age 35(Sultanate of Oontaz).
LW #45 Ogbonna Obasea. Age 34.

10. Amaku City FC
Manager: Kirabo Besigye. 45 years old. 4th season at club.
Formation: 3-4-1-2
GK #1 Chydy Chinwendu. Age 26
RB #2 Okparro Obey. Age 33.
CB #5 Koofrey Orjie. Age 24.
LB #3 Jelan Chijindum. Age 27.
RM #11 Kagwa Wachiuri. Age 29.
CM #14 Obasy Azubuike. Age 34. Captain.
CM #18 Uchee Chinou. Age 35.
LM #17 Mazi Nkechi. Age 27.
CAM #10 Chukwuma Akubundu. Age 21.
RS #9 Somayina Chidee. Age 27.
LS #12 Uchea Maduabuchim. Age 32.

11. Byakado City
Manager: Muteesa Mbogalay. 58 years old. 8th season at club.
Formation: 5-1-2-1-1
GK #1 Chioke Okafo. Age 25.
RWB #2 Chibuzo Chydy. Age 27.
RCB #5 Orjea Mazi. Age 31.
CB #4 Akabueze Jajah. Age 34. Captain.
LCB #3 Obasie Chinuah. Age 35.
LWB #6 Obi Ozioma. Age 26.
CDM #8 Oluchi Jelan. Age 32.
RM #11 Jelanee Chinelo. Age 27.
LM #7 Obea Ndidi. Age 24.
CAM #10 Songezo Pityana. Age 32.
CF #9 Chee Ijendu. Age 32.

12. Kigagana Mountaineers
Manager: Ekene Afamefula. 75 years old. 10th and final season at club.
Formation: 4-4-2
GK #1 Uchey Jajah. Age 32.
RB #2 Fumnanya Jel. Age 30.
CB #5 Jaja Chijioke. Age 31.
CB #4 Jelanie Chinedu. Age 32.
LB #3 Obee Uchechea. Age 26.
RM #7 Obasea Uchea. Age 35.
CM #18 Chijindum Obasey. Age 34.
CM #14 Chidea Ekene. Age 33.
LM #11 Chydee Orjee. Age 32
RS #10 Jelanee Chinuah. Age 26.
LS #9 Fezile Jabavu. Age 36. Captain.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
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Postby Banija » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:31 pm

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Banija's Regional Soccer Leagues - Season 3 Basic Information


The Royal Banijan Soccer Association is proud to present the second layer of Banija's soccer pyramid in both Banija and the Busoga Islands- the Regional League system. The Northwestern League, the Lower Coastal League, the Northern League, and the Southern League, combine to criss-cross the two nations. Each league is fully professional, and each team, besides Capitol City Football Club, is fan owned- as opposed to the BSL, which is a franchise based league.

This will be the third season of full integration of the Regional League System into the Banijan soccer pyramid. These are the leagues where RBSA participants in the UICA Serie B Champions Cup come from. One team is promoted from the regional leagues to the BSL each and every season. ALl four league champions enter a promotion playoff, where they are randomly drawn against each other for two-legged ties. The two winners play a one-off final at the Stadium of the Restoration, and the winner is the sole team promoted to the Banijan Soccer League. The three regional league champions who do not get promoted qualify directly to the Serie B Champions Cup.

The Northwestern League
Regions- Moravica & Busoga Islands
1. AFC Kosactus. AFCK. Location: Kosactus, Moravica. Color: Red.
Kosactus Stadium
Capacity of 11,000.

2. Taramazna United. TMU. Location: Taramazna, Moravica. Color: Blue.
Abeselome Field
Capacity of 5,500.

3. Eastern Moravica Football Club. EMFC. Location: Iziarad, Moravica. Color: Scarlet.
University of Moravica Multi-Purpose Field
Capacity of 16,500. Rents the facility from the University of Moravica.

4. Jaribga Soccer Club. JSC. Location: Jaribga, Busoga. Color: Blue.
Jarigba Soccer Stadium
Capacity of 4,000.

5. Tezirbu Foxes. TZF. Location: Tezirbu, Busoga. Color: Green.
Southern Busoga Soccer Park
Capacity of 3,700.

6. Slobochia Bears. SBB. Location: Slobochia, Moravica. Color: Purple.
Slobochia City Field.
Capacity of 6,600.

7. Koszagard City. KZC. Location: Koszagard, Moravica. Color: Orange.
Koszagard City Stadium.
Capacity of 4,400.

8. Barmos United. BU. Loction: Barmos, Moravica. Color: Green.
Lilley Road
Capacity of 7,700.

9. Corizova United FC. CUFC. Location: Corizova, Moravica. Color: Gold.
River Corizova Stadium
Capacity of 8,900.

10. Suwawa FC. SFC. Location: Suwawa, Moravica. Color: Green.
Crystal Road.
Capacity of 11,110.

11. Tripoli Foresters. TRI. Location: Tripoli, Busoga. Color: Green.
Forest Stadium
Capacity of 10,300.

12. Nezrouch Rovers. NR. Location: Nezrouch, Busoga. Color: Blue.
Rovers Arena
Capacity of 5,400.


THe Lower Coastal League
Regions: Ankole, Kitara, National Capitol Region
1. Kwadama Dojo. KWD. Location: Kwadama, Ankole. Colors: Red.
Kwadama City Field.
Capacity of 11,300.

2. Kabakono City. KBC. Location: Kabakona, Kitara. Colors: Blue.
Kilebe Road.
Capacity of 12,000.

3. Nsade United. NDU. Location: Nsade, Ankole. Colors: Blue.
Nsade United City Stadium
Capacity of 17,800[/url].

4. AFC Akwadua. AKW. Location: Akwadua, Kitara. Colors: Blue.
St.Matthew Park
Capacity of 7,600.
.
5. Dimbogourou Sporting Club. DSC. Location: Dimbogourou, Ankole. Colors: Purple.
Commonwealth Stadium
Capacity of 10,400.
.
6. Kiala Athletic Society. KAS. Location: Kiala, Kitara. Colors: Pink.
The Valley
Capacity of 6,800.

7. Zakuta City. ZKC. Location: Zakuta, Ankole. Colors: Green.
Forest Stadium
Capacity of 8,600.

8. Dioro Athletic. DJA. Location: Djoro, Kitara. Colors: Green.
Recreation Ground
Capacity of 6,700.

9. Baleweye Football Club. BFC. Location: Baleweye, Ankole. Colors: Turquoise.
Mamela Road
Capacity of 9,700.

10. Mamari City. MMC. Loction: Mamari, Kitara. Colors: Blue.
Mamari Valley Stadium
Capacity of 4,800.

11. Ogbordu Diamond Football Club. ODFC. Location: Hoima, Ankole. Colors: Orange.
Hoima City Park
Capacity of 18,600.

12. Capitol City Football Club. CCFC. Location: Busukuma, National Capitol region(coterminous borders). Colors: Blue.
[spoiler=https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/Ricoh_Arena_-_geograph.org.uk_-_901396.jpg]Capitol Grounds[/url]
Capacity of 29,400.


Northern League
Regions: Hangaza & Aksum
1. Igulu City Football Club. ICFC. Location: Igulu, Hangaza. Colors: Blue.
Igulu City Field.
Capacity of 18,600.

2. Luguyala Patriots. LGY. Location: Luguyala, Aksum. Colors: Red.
Patriot Stadium
Capacity of 8,600.

3. Nanami Dragons. NNI. Location: Jinja City, Hangaza. Colors: Orange.
The Dragon's Nest
Capacity of 12,300. Shares stadium with archrival Selekawe Knights. Stadium located where Nanami and Selekawe neighborhoods meet.

4. Selekawe Knights. KNT. Location: Jinja City, Hangaza. Colors: Blue.
The Dragon's Nest
Capacity of 12,300. Shares stadium with archrival Nanami Dragons. Stadium located where Nanami and Selekawe neighborhoods mmet.

5. Garixas City. GXC. Location: Garixas, Hangaza. Colors: Blue.
Union Stadium
Capacity of 7,400.

6. Thayaferu United. TYF. Location: Thayaferu, Aksum. Colors: Pink.
The Queen's PlayGround
Capacity: 6,500.

7. Okakameb City. OKB. Location: Okakameb, Hangaza. Colors: Orange.
Okakameb City Field
Capacity of 12,400.

8. AFC Okahavi. OKH. Location: Okahavi, Aksum. Colors: Red.
Hills Stadium
Capacity of 8,700.

9. Duntho Sporting Club. DSC. Loction: Duntho, Hangaza. Colors: Green.
Duntho Public Sporting Facility
Capacity of 6,500. Owned by the city. Rented by DSC, Also used by local high school teams.

10. Cerenus United. CNU. Location: Cerenus, Aksum. Colors: Pink.
The Lion's DenCapacity of 5,400.

11. Gadive City. GDC. Location: Gadive City, Hangaza. Colors: Red.
Hampton Roads
Capacity of 15,400.

12. Koksho City. KSH. Location: Koksho, Aksum. Colors: Green.
Koksho City Arena..
Capacity of 17,000.


Southern League
Regions: Buganda & Bunyoro
1. Umbazi Footballers Association. UFA. Location: Umbazi, Buganda. Colors: Red.
NightWatch Stadium
Capacity of 8,900. Their main rivals were Umbazi Metropolitan Sporting Club before UMFC was chosen for the BSL as opposed to UFA.

2. Dodoma City Sporting Club. DCSC. Location: Dodoma, Bunyoro. Colors: Green.
Dodomo City Stadium.
Dodomo City Stadium, Capacity of 33,000. Shares stadium with Bunyoro RSC. Dodoma City SC v. Bunyoro RSC was the most played fixture in Banijan history before the advent of the BSL.

3. Hawabark Boulders. HWB. Loction: Hawabark, Buganda. Colors: Red.
Olympic Stadium
Capacity of 17,800. This is where Banijan outdoor olympic summer qualifiers are held.
.
4. Kigagana Mountaineers. KGG. Location: Kigagana, Bunyoro. Colors: Blue.
Mountain Stadium
Capacity of 3,900.

5. Busemlu Park Sporting Club. BSM. Location: Busemlu Park, Buganda. Colors: Orange.
Allopu II Stadium
Capacity: 8,600. Named after the only Banijan monarch to ever be born in the Buganda region.

6. Mukegara Warriors. MKG. Location: Mukegara, Bunyoro. Colors: Green.
Stade Jacques IX
Capacity of 3,400. Only stadium in Banija named after a foreigner. It takes on the name of the head of the Quebecois Commonwealth, which Banija is a member of. The Head of the Commonwealth is invested in the role of the Head of State of the Royal Kingdom of Quebec, who is currently Jacques IX

7. Pumbasa Boars. PUM. Location: Pumbasa, Buganda. Colors: Orange.
Pumbasa City Park
Capacity of 6,800.
.
8. Byakado City. BYK. Location: Byakado, Bunyoro. Colors: Orange.
Byakado City Park
Capacity of 7,600.[/url]

9. Boufaya Ravens. BFY. Location: Boufaya, Buganda. Colors: Blue.
The Bird's Nest
Capacity of 9,100.

10. Sororo City. SOR. Location: Sororo, Bunyoro. Colors: Blue.
Sororo City Park
Capacity of 10,300

11. Abomfa United. ABM. Location: Abomfa, Buganda. Colors: Red.
Abomfa Field
Capacity of 9,700.

12. Amaku City Football Club. ACFC. Location: Amaku, Bunyoro. Colors: Red.
Amaku Football Arena
Capacity of 8,800.
Last edited by Banija on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kabaka = King
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Postby Banija » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:43 pm

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Summer Roundup- Herzegovina City FC celebrates run to group stages of Champions as RBSA takes step forward in UICA competition

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HZCFC player Aaron Aiza celebrates goal in Champions Cup Playoff Round


HERZEGOVINA CITY- The highlight this summer, of course, has to be Herzegovina City FC's incredible run through Champions Cup Qualifying, and becoming Banija's first ever top flight team to make the group stages- and the knockout stages- of a UICA competition. It was an interesting summer overall, as a total of 10 out of 68 clubs competed in some form of international competition, and some, of course, participated in international competition. We'll go through each competition that Banijan clubs participated in this summer- the Champions Cup, the Globe Cup, the Serie B Champions Cup, the Atlantian Oceania Champions League, the Cygnus Cup Winners Cup, and the VIlitian Cove International.

1. 71st UICA Champions Cup

Champions Cup Qualifiers- Champions Path
Bye in first Preliminary Round.
Second Preliminary Round
First Leg: Yánsè 0-4 Herzegovina City Second Leg: Herzegovina City 4-0 Yánsè (HZCFC wins 8-0 on aggregate)
Third Preliminary Round
First Leg: Herzegovina City 2-1 Lonngeylin Coast Second Leg: Lonngeylin Coast 1-3 Herzegovina City(HZCFC wins 5-2 on aggregate)
Playoff Round
First Leg: Herzegovina City 1-1 Eastern Stars Second Leg: Eastern Stars 2-2 Herzegovina City (HZCFC draws 3-3, but advances 2-1 on away goals)


The cream of the crop, it only makes sense to kick off with the defending champions. They had a stunning season, going undefeated in the league in their first season under new manager Brian Emerson, the now 75 year old manager from Cosumar, who is regarded as an all-timer in Cosumar thanks to his playing days for the national team, and helping lead Cosumar to their inaugural appearance at the World Cup. Ironically, he was considered by many Banijans to be the right hire to guide the national team to their maiden appearance at the World Cup, but it was Marcus Waters who eventually took charge, and of course, we all know what happened. Of course, while they finished an incredible, undefeated season, there was always a hint of caution. The club had truly conquered the domestic game, with an undefeated season capping their third title run in the last four seasons. But the next question, of course, is this. What was the next step?

The next step, of course, was to make that kind of impact internationally. You'll remember, in Globe Cup Qualifiers, in Brian Emerson's first couple of matches at the helm, they got knocked out pretty early. Banija is too young of a league for managers fates to be decided by international club play- there simply isn't enough history of success to really see a real standard. But of course, Brian Emerson said that he wanted to come out and raise the bar at this club- a club that had won back-to-back titles under the previous manager, though not in Freegan's final season, and many were wondering, how could they raise the bar when the expectation and the standard was championships? Well, he showed what he could do to raise the bar domestically, and this stunning run has won him even more supporters from many corners.

They had a bye through the first preliminary round of Champions Cup Qualifiers, and in the second preliminary, they played Yánsè, the champions of the Golden Lotus. A pair of easy 4-0 wins, however, saw Herzegovina City FC advance to play what was always going to be a much tougher opponent- Lonngeylin Coast, the champions of the Vilita Stellar Division. A league that, of course, has earned the right to send three teams to the Champions Cup, they came into the game as the obvious favorites. Herzegovina City FC, by comparison, were upstarts. And, of course, also in Atlantian Oceania- ironically, the national team just played Vilita national team in the World Cup, as well, where Vilita got the better of the Kadongo Kamu. It was a matchup that many Banijans were excited for, though many thought it would be the end of the road for the national team.

The stunner was the first leg. Delbin Kasekende nearly stood on his head, making 9 saves throughout the game. While Coast had close to 60% possession, the Banijan side was taking advantage of their opportunities. Ennis Leishmann, this season Banija's sole striker, converted a 39th minute penalty to give the hosts a 1-0 lead, the stadium burst with a bout of noise never before heard in the stadium. And the crowd was rocking that night. Drums playing, fans dancing, feeling a win coming. An Aaron Aiza cross, who went with the World Cup co-hosts, the Equestrian States, all the way to the quarterfinals, found HZCFC's new center back, Abate Brehanu, who headed the ball into the back of the net in the 52nd to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. A Coast free kick, however, in the 88th, gave the visitors life, as they nabbed a crucial away goal heading back to Vilita.

That away goal was a soul crusher, but the spirits were still high. It would take a nearly flawless effort- just one goal from Coast would put them in front on away goals, and it might be too big of a stage, even for Herzegovina City FC. However, the defense played ferociously, with Elias Abate in particular seeming to be 'everywhere at once'. The Coast fans, of course, were nervous, especially when the half finished at 0-0. They were going to really have to attack now, and the Banijan champs would have to counter- and that's what they did. Aaron Aiza, despite his own lack of pace, in the 51st minute, stole a pass, and played a beautiful ball upfield to a racing Jackson Oglobelo, who, alongside Ennis Leishmann, had a two on one. A pass to Leishmann, who sent it right back to Oglobelo, allowed the Abajan attacking midfielder to put the ball into the back of the net to give them a 1-0 lead on the day, and a 3-1 lead on aggregate.

The visiting fan section exploded, as Oglobelo sprinted to the corner and the team piled on top of him. And when Aiza buried home a free kick in the 63rd minute to double their lead on the day, the tie was over. Each team scored once more, with Coast scoring in the 82nd and Abate scoring in 90+1, but the champs were through. What an upset, and what a celebration. Their team plane came back to Istria International, the closest airport to Herzegovina City FC, they were met by nearly 2,000 screaming fans. And then, of course, they drew their next opponent- the Eastern Stars of the Isles of Avon. Winner, of course, would enter the Champions Cup for the group stage- Herzegovina City FC for the first time.

This was a tight, drawn out affair. A 1-1 draw in Herzegovina City FC, with an Eastern Stars opener in the 6th minute cancelled out by a Boimah Ba header in the 52nd minute, saw the sides level heading to Avon- though, of course, the Eastern Stars had the advantage on away goals. The second leg was a crazy affair. The Eastern Stars opened the scoring, in the 16th minute, off a header, and took an early 1-0 lead. It was Lucas Lucius Vit, however, who was able to equalize with a long-distance strike, to tie the game at 1, and level the tie at 2 goals a piece, with one away goal a piece. It was level until the 60th minute, when Brehanu had an own goal, heading the ball into the back of his own net, to give their opponents a 3-2 lead on aggregate. To get to the group stages, Herzegovina City FC would have to push.

And push forward is exactly what they did. Even going against a much bigger club, they threw everything that they had. Brian Emerson has given them confidence, and they play with it. Aiza hit the crossbar in the 72nd minute. Leishmann had an open header that went straight to the keeper in the 79th. However, who would you expect to step up in this moment? Aaron Aiza had a free kick in the 86th minute, and he bent the ball into the top corner. The game was level, but Herzegovina City was ahead on aggregate. 2-2 in the tie, 2-1 on away goals, and celebrating Banijans everywhere. The Equestrian midfielder sprinted to the corner, and the celebrations began. They were able to see it out, and the celebrations began on the field. Herzegovina City FC, for the first time ever, was in the Champions Cup proper. Hugs everywhere, Emerson spraying champagne on the field, as they celebrated wildly.

Of course, they are the second lowest ranked side in the Champions Cup group stages, so don't expect much from them there. However- it is a stunning accomplishment that they are there, as many expected the BSL from being at least another season away from seriously contending for spots in the group stages of either UICA competition, especially Champions Cup. They were drawn into Group G, with Cosumarite champions Eastweald, Crissbless out of Nephara, and San Marco Storm out of Port Christopher. A tough group, though at this point, there are no easy groups. Still- what a summer for Banijan soccer, with World Cup Qualification, participation in their first ever World Cup Finals, and now, this first ever qualification for Champions Cup group stages. What a summer, and Brian Emerson might have put himself in the early running for manager of the year again with this performance.

2. Globe Cup

Globe Cup Qualifiers
1st Preliminary Round
Herzegovina Phoenix- First Leg: Phoenix 1-1 1093 CF Atlantea Second Leg: 1093 CF Atlantea 3-0 Phoenix ( 1093 CF Atlantea advance 4-1 on aggregate)
Busukuma Athletic Club- First Leg: Busukuma AC 2-5 Mallox Second Leg: Mallox 1-1 Busukuma AC (Mallox advance 6-3 on aggregate)
Third Preliminary Round
Jinja City FC- First Leg: Jinja City FC 1-3 Avendia Neal Second Leg: Avenida Neal 4-0 Jinja City FC (Avenida Neal advances 7-1 on aggregate)


The Globe Cup qualifiers did not go n early as well for the Banijan Soccer League. The team that we'll focus on first, of course, is the Herzegovina Phoenix. Qualifying for their first ever UICA competition under Mark Grayson, they had a surprise finish in fourth place in the league last season. Many assumed that they were still a year away from seriously contending for the UICA, but Mark Grayson has moved the timeline up on them, and with their new signings, they are seen as a threat to topple the dynasty that is Herzegovina City FC. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, their first foray into the UICA was quick. A 1-1 draw at home saw them play relatively well, but the return leg to play 1093 CF Atlantea in Taeshan was a disaster. They allowed two first half goals, and the hosts added a third late, as they lost 3-0 and quickly fell out, losing 4-1 on aggregate. Still, however, it was good that they happened to be there.

The second team that we'll follow, of course, is Busukuma Athletic Club. Although they've been here a couple of times, they've never seen much success in this competition, and therefore, they had to play in the first preliminary round, alongside the Herzegovina Phoenix. A consistent team- always finishing second through fourth, but never finding a way to get past. And, of course, this is their second season with younger manager, Ferran Rey, from Juvencus. They, too, quickly crashed out of the competition. They were drawn against Mallox of Cosumar, always a tough draw for a Banijan side. This tie, unfortunately, was over before it started. Just to be blunt- the team went out and bombed. They lost the home leg, the first leg of this tie, 5-2. They were down 2-0 at halftime and a shocking 5-0 after 71 minutes, with their last two late goals simply consolation. A tough, bitter pill to swallow, as fans expect at least some advancement in the competition from the capitol club, who historically struggles in the competition. The second leg, of course, was a formality, and while a decent performance allowed them to achieve a 1-1 away draw, they crashed out, 6-3 on aggregate. The only positive you could take from the tie is new striker Alex Sandoval, out of the Commonwealth of Baker Park, scored his first goal for the capitol side.

Now, saving Jinja City FC for last. Terribly consistent- four straight seasons finishing as the runners up in the Banijan Soccer League. Last season, they had a good run through Globe Cup Qualifiers, with them, alongside Istria City FC, only falling at the final stage before the group stages. They, also, crashed quickly out of the tournament. Playing Avenida Neal, from neighboring Farfadillis, they were heavy underdogs, and it showed. Avendia Neal struggled to a 1-0 lead at halftime, but a pair of early second half goals allowed them to break the game, and the tie, wide open. They scored what was basically a consolation goal, and then it simply got uglier in Farfadillis, the score not being more lopsided only because Avenida stopped going forward after their fourth goal of the game, and seventh of the tie, in the 50th minute. Not a good start to the season for Alexander Bumba, where fans are getting frustrated at his own lack of ability to finish above second place in the table. A man who has faced incredible pressure because of the Herzegovina City FC run, the way they were so thoroughly dominated over two legs is only likely to make his seat burn that much hotter, going into yet another season where fans are demanding that they dethrone Brian Emerson's side.

3. Serie B Champions Cup

Serie B Champions Cup Qualifiers
First preliminary round
Kabakono City- First Leg: Kabakono City 3-0 Gryst Brewers Second Leg: Gryst Brewers 1-2 Kabakono City (Kabakono City advances 5-1 on aggregate)
Second Preliminary Round
Kabakono City- First Leg: Weldsmith 1-1 Kabakono City Second Leg: Kabakono City 1-1 Weldsmith(3-0 PK shootout) (Teams level 2-2 on aggregate, 1-1 on away goals, Weldsmith advances 3-0 on penalties)
Sororo City- First Leg: Reykjavík 1-1 Sororo City Second Leg: Sororo City 0-0 Reykjavík (Teams level 1-1 on aggregate, Sororo City advances 1-0 on away goals)
Third Preliminary Round
Sororo City- First Leg: Sororo City 0-0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC Second Leg: Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0-1 Sororo City (Sororo City advances 1-0 on aggregate)
Playoff Round
Sororo City- First Leg: Sororo City 1-1 AC Hartdale Second Leg: AC Hartdale 2-0 Sororo City (AC Hartdale advances 3-1 on aggregate)
Corizova United - First Leg: Corizova United 2-0 Bara Waves Second Leg: Bara Waves 3-1 Corizova United (Teams level 3-3 on aggregate, Corizova United advances 1-0 on away goals)


An action packed period in the Serie B Champions Cup Qualifiers, is it not? The regional leagues represented Banija well in the competition last season, and this season, they have represented Banija well again. Three of the regional league champs entered the competition this season. Kabakono City, the champions of the Lower Coastal League, then Sororo City, the champions of the Southern League, and Corizova United, returning as the champions of the Northwestern League. Each team performed fairly well, advancing at least once.

We'll start with the first team to enter the competition, Kabakono City. They played the Gryst Brewers, from Mriin, here in Atlantian Oceania. A dominant performance in the first leg of the tie, a 3-0 victory, basically decided the tie at that moment. They came back, however, and played extremely well in the second leg of the tie as well, scoring twice, to advance 5-1 on aggregate. And, ironically, they were drawn with yet another team from Mriin- Weldsmith. This was an extremely tight affair. It was physical, challenges everywhere, cards flying out of the referee's pocket. This time, the first leg was in Mriin, and they drew 1-1. Weldsmith scored the opener, but a late equalizer by Al Qurija international Bahij Wafi Saab in the 79th minute put Kabakono City up, on away goals heading home. They had a slight advantage, but once again, the teams were very well evenly matched. This time, in Banija, Kabakono City scored the opener, with a Abdoulaye Ouattara heading home a cross from 37 year old captain Essa Mansaré. However, Weldsmith equalized in the dying moments, with a brilliant shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out on a free kick. And, in the penalty shootout, it was Weldsmith who kept their composure. Kabakono City missed all three attempts, as two skied over the net while the first was superbly saved by the opposition keeper. Weldsmith, naturally, was perfect from the spot, as they punched a ticket to the next round.

And it is here, where we pick up again. Sororo City entered the competition in the second preliminary round. They then happened play Reykjavík of the 2nd Brazilian Empire. The first leg was a tight affair, away from home, and it was Bailo Camara who scored the opener, though Reykjavik quickly equalized just two minutes later. That goal, however, proved to be the difference, as both defenses tightened up, and a 0-0 affair in the second leg was enough to put Sororo City through to the next round on away goals. At this point, they played in another tight affair, against Isle of Kjeligsted from Audioslavia. Another 0-0 draw in Bunyoro set up a second leg with everything to play for in Audioslavia. Sororo City was able to withstand the pressure of being the road team, and they got a chance with a 76th minute penalty. Wandy Kujabi buried it home from 12 yards, and they were into the playoff round- one round away from the group stages. It is here, however, where the team fell. They played AC Hartdale, from fellow GSW member Valanora. The first leg in Banija finished at 1-1, but the second leg had everything left to play for. Eventually, Sororo City had to push numbers forward, because of Hartdale's away goal. A late counter-attacking goal in the 67th, and another on a corner kick in stoppage time, when the entire Sororo City squad was in the box, allowed the Vanorian side to punch their ticket in the group stages.

It was Corizova United who would round it off. Playing the Bara Waves from Schottia, a 2-0 victory at home propelled belief that the team would make it to the group stages of the competition for the second straight year. However, it was almost disaster in Schottia. Two early goals- one in the 6th, the other in the 13th, gave Bara Waves life as the score was quickly tied on aggregate. A third goal by the hosts in the 60th minute looked set to see Corizova United crumble on the stage. However, they refused to fall. Veteran midfielder Alasan Mendy scored in the 78th minute, and then the team held on as they were level 3-3 on aggregate, but advanced to the group stages 1-0 on away goals. Ironically, they are the only team to qualify for last season's group stages to qualify for this season's group stages of the competition. Of course, that is likely because most Serie B Champions Cup participants were promoted to top flight competitions within their nations, but yea. Definitely something that sets them apart.

Their group will be a tough one, drawing the Flint Ridge Eagles of New Gelderland, Momentum City Centre of Ceni, and Wirr Tsi of Chromatika in Group A. Of course, they are the experienced squad- having been in this competition for the second straight season- but, of course, the leagues in those countries are simply better. We'll see how they can do in the group stage this time around, and if they can advance out of it.

4. Cygnus Cup Winners Cup

Cygnus Cup Winners Cup
First Leg: Busembe Timberwolves 0-0 Raikennax Charge Second Leg: Raikennax Charge 1-0(aet) Busembe Timberwolves (Raikennax Charge advance 1-0 on aggregate)


Going through the competitions in order of prestige, we now find the Cygnus Cup Winners Cup. The Busembe Timberwolves, of course, were drawn into the first preliminary round of the competition, this being their first ever international competition. The winners of each cup, this was the reward for the TImberwolves surprising almost all observers and finding their way to lifting the RBSA Cup. The first preliminary round, of course, was the only round to happen during the summer, and it was the late summer. The Timberwolves had a battle with Raikennax Charge from Drawkland. The first leg was a 0-0 snoozefest in Banija, and the return leg was more of the same. However, since extra time was required, the notoriously defensive Busembe Timberwolves could not hold out any longer. An 101st minute handball by young defender Emeka Jajah turned into a penatly, and the Drawkians buried it home, and that was it. A short run in the tournament, of course, but it will certainly provide good experience for the squad going into the season.

5. Atlantian Oceania Champions League

AOCL Preliminary Round
First Leg: Maynard AFC 2-3 Herzegovina City FC Second Leg: Herzegovina City 5-4 Maynard AFC (HZCFC advances 8-6 on aggregate)


There was a wild ride in the AOCL champions league competition this season. Of course, the summer's preliminary round featured the champions from Ko-oren and Banija. The first leg was a back and forth, wide open affair, as both teams went for it, trying to get to the group stages of the regional competition. Maynard AFC, of course, scored the opener, and they went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. Brian Emerson's side, however, came back with a vengeance. They wanted to advance, and show their success this summer in the Champions Cup qualifiers wasn't a fluke- and boy, did they bring it to Maynard. Aaron Aiza in the 56th, Ennis Leishmann in the 59th, and Lucas Lucius Vit in the 63rd minute, saw the squad, in 7 minutes, turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead away from home. Maynard AFC hit a penalty in the 88th to make it 3-2, and it was clear that the teams were capable of a wild matchup.

We thought that was as crazy as it would get, but boy, were we wrong. The second leg was even crazier. Herzegovina City FC scored twice in the early goings- Jackson Oglobelo scoring twice, in the 5th and the 9th minutes, to give them a quick 2-0 lead at home. We would've thought that was it, right? Up 5-2 on aggregate, 3-0 on away goals? Well, you would've thought wrong. After the second Oglobelo goal, Maynard AFC came back with a vengeance. Goals in the 17th, 28th, and 42nd minute saw them take a 3-2 lead into halftime, stunning Herzegovina City FC and the home crowd. Now, of course, they were on track for penalties and a wild finish. But penalties certainly were not coming. Elias Abate converted a header in the 52nd minute, while Aiza scored in the 59th minute to make it 4-3 in the game. Maynard AFC was chasing the game, and a 72nd minute equalizer meant that they were one goal away. They pushed, and pushed, and pushed, but an 88th minute counter-attack saw Boimah Ba score the winner, and put them into the group stages of the AOCL.

It will certainly be quite a busy time for Herzegovina City FC this season. Coming off of an undefeated season, and their third title in four seasons, of course, the entire league will be gunning for them. They will be the big, bad, favorites here at home. But they will be juggling two international competitions. The Champions Cup group stages, and, of course, the Atlantian Oceania Champions League group stages. That will mean, at the very minimum, 12 weekday games by the midway point of the season. Their Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be packed, and when we reach the midway point of the BSL, they will have already played over 40 games, including these games over the summer. This presents a unique challenge for Brian Emerson- how will he juggle three competitions, with all of the extra travel and air mileage, and still compete in the league? We'll see what kind of answer he can come up with.

And, of course, before we forget. They are drawn into Group C of this competition, with X SC of 95X, Carter FC of Jasĭyun, and Iskara Daii of Starblaydia. Another tough group for the champs, but of course we'll see if they can succeed here in the near abroad.

And that is it for the summer! Just a reminder, the sixth competition, Vilitan Cove International, with Istria City FC, will be played entirely during the BSL season- so Istria City FC did not have any competitive matches this summer. And now, of course, we're only a few days away from the start of the season! Look out soon for the exclusive regional league and Banijan Soccer League preview, provided only by the All-Banija Sports Magazine! We'll go through predictions for all 20 BSL sides and all four regional league sides, we'll talk about how promotion/relegation will effect league play, and what new signings fans should watch out for.

Until next time!
Last edited by Banija on Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
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Postby Banija » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:46 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Preview

Image


As promised, we have our previews for the upcoming season of the Banijan Soccer League! This will, of course, be a little different than seasons past. We will not be providing a team-by-team preview for all 20 members of the league- due to, of course, financial issues here at the magazine. We will do team-by-team previews for Banija's biggest clubs, and then do a prediction of the order of the final table, and finally, we will, of course, do a full team-by-team preview of those whom we expect to seriously compete for a relegation spot.

The teams we are doing individual previews for are, of course, listed in the order that we expect them to finish in the league.

1. Jinja City FC

Have Herzegovina City FC been the team to beat over the last four seasons? Yes. Have Jinja City FC finished in second place four seasons in a row with no trophies to show for their efforts? Absolutely. And didn't Brian Emerson's side not only go undefeated last season, but then become Banija's first ever team to go to the group stage of the Champions Cup? Also yes. But because of all that, we are predicting one of Banija's most consistent clubs to finally get over that hump, and add a second trophy to their collection.

We'll talk more about why we expected HZCFC to slide, but for now, let's talk about why we expect Jinja City FC to be the primary beneficiaries of their slide. The talent and expectation is there, with Bumba having won a title already, and with these top of the table finishes in second, it is clear they have what it takes to win the league, even if they haven't won it in a while. Look no further than the signing of central midfielder Malachi Gallagher. Spending $1.9 million NSDs for him, he is a winner. He gathered a few caps for Nephara over his career, 16, and scored 5 goals for their national team.

That is not, however, why they signed him. They felt that he'd give them an extra imposing presence centrally, that will help them succeed in this league. Him and Daniel Asres are expected to be one of the best central midfield pairs that we'll see this entire season. Gallagher is box-to-box, and is very aggressive. Bumba said that he expects 'great things' out of Gallagher, and his jersey is already selling well within the city. Much of their core, Daniel Asres, Sia Fall, LIn Moon, etc... Is returning as well, putting them in a good position to succeed.

2. Busukuma Athletic Club

The capitol club- the only Super 5 club without any league trophies. And they will continue that drought, this season, though they will move a step up in the league and get back to second place. It is different seeing the team without Sarh Sane on the sideline, but Ferran Rey is starting his second season as the tam's manager. The youngster from Juvencus has made two main changes to the starting lineup from last season. The first, is the purchase of Celty O'Mercury to play on the left side in his back 3, and the second is signing Baker Park striker Alex Sandoval.

While he is known to be susceptible to getting hit on the counter-attack, the Cosumarite is a strong addition to the back 3 of the capitol club. He is about to be hitting his prime too, at 25 years old- likely to spend his best years here in Banija. There are a few talented Cosumarites in this league, most notably Wenceslaw, and he is looking to continue that tradition. The addition of Alex Sandoval is also a big move forward for the Banijans. He scored a pair of goals in this country in the 67th Baptism of Fire, so he knows what it's like to play in the Kingdom of Banija.

Busukuma Athletic Club, however, is still a piece or two away from seriously competing to bring a trophy home in the league. Toyuwa Sall is 36 years old and playing attacking midfielder, which is not the age you want leading your attack when you are trying to win the league. Expect another signing next season, and another aggressive offseason, before this team can finally break its curse and bring home what the capitol's residents have long been waiting for- a league trophy.

3. Herzegovina City FC

Brian Emerson's squad being moved all the way down to 3rd place, straight after an undefeated, 100 point season? And after watching them making a stunning run through the summer months, ultimately culminating in a serious money-making spot in the Champions Cup group stages? Yes, we will. It is a bold, interesting prediction, but we will explain why. All the success from last season is, naturally, going to come at a cost. Group stages of the Champions Cup, group stages of the Atlantian Oceania Champions League- that's an extra 12 games of international competition during the season, a challenge that has never been faced before by a BSL club. And, of course, they are the only ones facing that kind of challenge. Istria City FC, of course, will have an early two-legged affair during the VIlitan Cove International, but that's not the same as 12 guaranteed games. And even if they do go to the final, their games won't be spread out through the first 24 matchdays of the BSL season- it will be spread out through the entirety of the season. And, of course, they didn't have to play 10 games in the summer.

Look at it like this. During the summer, Herzegovina City FC played 8 games. Then, of course, during the course of the group stages, they will play 12 games. That is 20 extra games against teams not from Banija, which means 10 flights to whatever countries flung far across the multiverse. And then, of course, if you include the fact that they'll open the season with the Kabaka's Cup, they'll have played at least 45 games in all competitions through Matchday 24- a stunning amount. And, of course, that means 35 games in the 25 weeks it takes to get through that point in the season. The squad, no doubt, will be tired. It will be up to Brian Emerson to figure out a solution. We're unsure as to what competitions he'll prioritize, but we feel as if making a return as Banija's sole competitor in the 72nd Champions Cup might be quite ambitious. That's why we're predicting third- they'll be back in the UICA, but they won't be able to complete their insane run from last season.

That said, this team is probably still the most talented in the lead. Led by Aaron Aiza, who assisted on the goal that defeated the Banijans in the opener for World Cup 80, they have talent everywhere. From Delbin Kasekende in net, to 3/4s of the starting back line for the national team, there is boatloads of talent everywhere on this squad. The trio of attacking midfielders- Jackson Oglobelo, Aaron Aiza, and Lucas Lucius Vit, will do extremely well. The only thing to worry about is the loss of Guillermo Madruga. After a great season last season at the front of the attack, he left for a big money contract abroad, leaving Ennis Leishman as the sole striker. Can the 31 year old handle the role? Brian Emerson is confident, but we'll see what happens.

4. Hoima Warriors

We think that the top three will largely seperate themselves from the pack. We think these next three teams will have a scramble, and quite a fight, for fourth place in the league. WE expect, however, the Hoima Warriors to come back and finally get back onto the UICA scene. They've lost, of course, their own UICA ranking, but they have a squad returning to fight for fourth place. They are, of course, led by legendary captain John Katumba- 38 years old, playing in his final season, desperately wanting to restore the Warriors 'to their rightful place at the perch of Banijan soccer'. Of course, the team has been a revolving door for years. Orlando Juarez three seasons ago, then Jan Cassallerus, then firing their coach last season, they've had four managers in the last three seasons. And now, they are on their fifth. They are once again drawing from Amazonesta, as Jehan Blair, their last manager, was hired to coach this team.

The biggest move he made was the signing of wing back Pablo Castroneves. An exciting prospect from Marianne, he is hoping to bring some much needed energy to this squad. And, of course, with players like Daluxolo Matshikiza. and 18 year old center back Kawsu Kaba, there is reason for excitement in the squad. One thing that has gotten to the Warriors in recent times, of course, is pressure. There is tons of pressure for those who play for this team- there's a reason Jehan Blair is their fifth manager since the start of Season 4. They fully expect to be in the UICA, and it is frustrating for both ownership and fans that it has been so long since they've been at the summit. There is a short leash. It is a challenge at this club- you will be adored if you succeed, but they certainly have the quickest hook in the Banijan Soccer League.

Of course, this team does have veterans. Wenceslaw, widely regarded as one of the league's best defenders, will anchor a young back line full of players who have never put on the shirt for Hoima. Katumba, as we mentioned, is 38 and has played here for years. A seasoned, grizzled veteran, he is the heart and soul of this side, and a fan favorite. While he is slower due to his age, he will be the rock of this team if they succeed and actually get a place in the top four. The pressure to produce, however, is on two players. Marbue Owusu and Julian Turner. Both a pair of players that could legitimately change the game, Owusu will be facing a particular pressure this season, as he and Okparro are vying for Kiggwe Kavuto's spot on the national team. They will be the bulk of the offense, they are the stars of this team. If they succeed, then the team can succeed. If they don't... Expect another long, tumultous offseason in Hoima.

5. Herzegovina Phoenix

We think that Mark Grayson's side will take a step back this season. He made quite a few changes to the roster during the offseason, and it gives him an odd mix of ages on the team. We have players who are rising up in the league, and a lot of veterans who are on their last legs in the league. Of course, there are probably another transfer window away from seriously competing for a league title- but we said last season that they were a window away from seriously competing for the UICA berths, so what do we know? They made three key signings that will form the core of their team. Orion Etzebeth, a central midfielder, Corvid Alemane, a striker, both from Nephara. And, of course, Josef Lawerenz, an up and coming star in the league, was signed away to his third club in the league in as many seasons. He, of course, is native to the Equestrian States.

Josef Lawerenz has earned the attention of those paying attention back in his homeland, as he will be a starter for their squad in the Di Bradini Cup. Of course, Banija will not be competing in the tournament this year due to limited funds- the RBSA wanted to put all their attention, money, and focus on their bid to co-host World Cup 81 alongside the Free Republics. The question is, will he combine well with Alemane? Both new players, from very different leagues, they are going to be expected to carry this team. Can they combine well? Will Lawerenz provide good service to Alemane? And, of course, there is Etzebeth. A physical player, he was seen to be a perfect fit for Mark Grayson's side. We think that they'll need a season to gel, and need to get a bit younger, with the winger opposite Lawerenz beign 36, and with three other players on the squad being at least 35 years of age. Give them an extra bolt of energy, and expect them to seriously contend for a trophy in Season 8.

6. Istria City FC

How the mighty have fallen eh? Not a bad place to be, in sixth- yet, still far out of the BSL's UICA places, all the way in sixth places. IT is not for a lack of talent on the squad, as they have a strong one, with an experienced manager entering his final season. Led up front, of course, by Assefa Yitebarke, they certainly have the ability to put plenty of goals into the net. However, did Condos really make the changes necessary to improve their stock in the league? While the rest of the Super 5 clubs made moves to improve their rosters, and even the Herzegovina Phoenix did as well, Istria City FC stayed pretty flat.

What can you do? The memory of their title run is still fresh, of course. But they will probably have to tear the house down and rebuild it from the ground after this season. Yitebarke is sending strong signals that he wants out of the club, and he is expected to have a number of suitors, both domestic and international. Asmelash is unhappy also, and he's 32, so he still has a couple of good years left, but we expect him to remain in the Banijan Soccer League. Condos is older, the team needs to refresh and reform, but they won their championship. We'll see what happens this season, of course, but don't expect them to have enough in the tank to do what it takes to get back into the UICA.

7. Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club

Did any team undergo more of a makeover than Bunyoro RSC? Their manager left the club to go be the commissioner of one of the regional leagues, making two of Banija's five professional leagues led on the business side by somebody who has experience as a head coach. Regardless, they looked abroad and came back with a winner- Adam Jeffreys of Razenthuria. He won titles in Razenthuria, and was considered one of the country's top coaching prospects, and Bunyoro RSC were excited to nab him. Of course, Banija co-hosted the World Lacrosse Championships with Razenthuria, and with Bunyoro RSC also known for being Banija's premier lacrosse club, them scouting for a coach in Razenthuria is something that made sense in far more ways than one.

He runs a non-traditional formation, going for a 4-2-4. To get players to fit the formation, it required quite a few changes. Okparro was going to head out regardless, and he did, when he signed with Makosile United from Vilita. Davide Waguespack, signed from Gloriax, is only 22 years old, and is one of the wingers that Jeffreys wanted to bring to his club. Guillame Fontanils is half of the striking partnership, a 20 year old from Acronius who appeared in a few qualifiers for World Cup 80. Bunyoro RSC has similar ambitions to the Herzegovina Phoenix- they want to crash the party at the top of the league, and break into the top four. It is difficult to do, of course, as they have less resources than the clubs ahead of them, but it is possible.

Their aggressive recruitment of the Razenthurian proved that much to be true. It shows that they have ambition, and it shows that they have big goals. Can they achieve them? It is, of course, a long-term project here. And they'll have to find a way to get Jeffreys the pieces he needs. Good news for him? He has the full support of ownership. They have given him lots of autonomy and power within the organization, and they have stated that they are committed to him 'long-term'. It might take a couple of seasons, but they will certainly be a team to watch for over the coming years.

Relegation Team Preview

With the introduction of promotion/relegation to the pyramid, many people have talked about the beauties of promotion, of what that means to certain clubs and certain cities. But, of course, there is another side of the issue- relegation. That's right, for the first time ever, a single team will be relegated from the top of the Banijan soccer pyramid. And that will be it- the best of the four regional league champions, as determined by a playoff, will be promoted to the Banijan Soccer League. And the team that finishes in 20th place will be demoted to the regional league system, where teams will be realigned so that the membership in each league still remains at 12 per team, while keeping the regions as close as geographically possible. There are five different teams that we expect to seriously compete for relegation- Lakiska SC, Aissa United FC, Bwubanza City SC, Askatasuna FC, and Dukuma SC. We'll go through all of them.

Of course, expect this battle to change quite a few things. For one, expect teams to seriously scrap who are at the bottom of the league. Those games will be more interesting, as nobody is interested in going down to the regional leagues. And secondly, expect teams that are threatened by relegation to pull the hook quickly on their managers. Everything's at stake. Prestige, money, etc... So much is lost if you are relegated, and with only one team promoted on an annual basis, who knows when you'll get back to the top flight? Teams will do whatever it takes to ensure that they stay in the Banijan Soccer League.

16. Lakiska SC

The other Busogan club, Lakiska SC faces the same challenges as their counterparts, the lack of a political agreement between the Islanders and Banija throwing the club's affairs into a loop. The country is doing just fine- you'll have the Equestrian States to thank for that, who are investing heavily into the brand new country. Last season, they had quite a number of problems, scoring a league-low 26 goals en route to 19th place, and, of course, a league-worst goal difference of -37. Everything went wrong for the Busoga Islands nation last season. They didn't change much, either. Why are we so confident, then, that they'll step up and move up the ladder?

Last season seemed to be an abberation for them. Usually much better than that, everything seem to go wrong for Laksika SC that could go wrong for the club in the island's capitol. Going back to the norm would allow them to get enough points to get to 16th place, a place where we expect them to be. And, of course, the outside political circumstances will push them to another level. The capitol of a brand new nation? They will have an us against the world mentality. They will likely be the most unpopular team in the league- likely standing as a symbol of the fledgling nation, and a reminder that the Islands are no longer Banijan. Expect the team to be booed everywhere they go, but expect that, at least in this first season, for the team to unify and defy the odds around the negative attention. We're not sure about their long-term projection, but at least this season, they'll do enough to surely stay out of serious contention to be relegated.

17. Bwubanza City SC

Bwubanza City SC. What a team, right? They've got what is the youngest squad in the Banijan Soccer League. Tessema Negasi has been a big proponent of the youth movement, but lost two of his crown jewels to bigger clubs in the league- Josef Lawerenz and Phineas Antwell. There's a reason they finished 8th last season, and this season, they have a stunning 9 members of their starting XI at or under the age of 22- including three teenage prospects. The team has a lot of potential for future growth, of course, but we are talking about the now. There's nothing that will stunt his master plans of a youth revival bringing them up the ladder like the thought of getting relegated. They need to develop, but they need to do so quickly- they don't want to be the lone team relegated.

We expect that the manager's commitment to the club and the system will see them through- there is, of course, only one team relegated on an annual basis. You know what else will be a big factor? Captain, and team leader, David Bzuayehu. 35 years old, he is 8 years older than the next oldest player, 27 year old striker Manasses Teshome, who himself is 5 years older than the next oldest player on the team. Those two veterans, of course, will be how they get through the season. They will have to hold the team together. Young players have lots of energy, lots of talent, and are important- but if locked in the midst of a relegation battle, with the pressure rising and if things are not going well, the pressure can easily get to them. Those two veterans will have to ensure that the young talent gels, that they can do whatever they can to ensure that the team stays focused enough, is mature enough, to achieve safety.

18. Aissa United FC

The team who just finished in last place, by a single point, has the most to fear from the addition of promotion/relegation to the pyramid. Somehow, Gregory Banis, the 55 year old, was able to keep his job, which saw a lot of criticism directed at ownership by fans. However, ownership felt that last season was 'an abberation', and that the team could realistically stay up. They have invested in youth to keep them up, with three 20 year olds on the roster- Gobista Charlotta at left back, Jajah Chee at left midfield, and Nweke Obasee being one half of the central midfield partnership. All three players will be key. If they can develop, if they can take steps forward, they will be able to keep Aissa United in the BSL.

If they cannot, however... The outlook for this team isn't bright at all. Coming off of a season where they got just 26 points, they will need to do much better than that to win games. The it factor was a foreign concept to them- they didn't have the league's worst offense, worst defense, or worst goal difference- but when they going got tough, they could not ever pull it out, winning only six games and leading the league with 24 losses. Gregory Banis is lucky to keep his job, but with promotion/relegation a factor this season... If they start poorly, expect him to get a quick hook. He's already on the hot seat, and it won't take much for him to get fired and for them to fired somebody else to take the team to safety.

19. Dukuma SC

Traditionally, Dukuma SC is the worst team in the Banijan Soccer League, and it is not even close. In their six seasons since the league went national, here is how they finished. A reminder, of course, that Season 1 had only 16 teams, and the league did not expand to 20 until Season 2. 16th(last), 20th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 16th. Meaning, of course, that last season's finish of 16th was their highest ever finish. Of course, they have an extra challenge in the league this season. It will be the first season with the Busoga Islands as an independent nation, where Dukuma SC is located. Of course, the Busoga clubs are all still full charter members of the RBSA, but it brings its own set of issues. Without any political agreement between the Islands and Banija yet, needing to do things like show your passports on the flights to Banija, using a currency they have no influence over, etc... Brings its own set of logistical challenges.

You'd think that would bring down a team like Dukuma SC. Well, we do. However, they will be protected for one reason- the Karimi family. They are injecting tons of money into the club, as one of the league's two foreign owned teams. Even with the risks, they voted to institute promotion/relegation, so we expect that they are confident that they will stay up in the top flight. They won't have a great season, of course, and without any major signings, we expect them to regress- but we expect them to do just enough to stay afloat and alive in the Banijan Soccer League.

20. Askatasuna FC

Askatasuna FC, producers of perhaps one of Banija's biggest ever club stars, Chibuzo Afolayan of AFC Corvistone in the Nepharim Premier League, have been in a free fall ever since they let him go. They sold him after Season 3 of the Banijan Soccer League. In the three seasons since they sold him, they've finished 9th, 15th, and then 17th. In the three seasons they had him, they finished 3rd, 5th, and 5th, with a run to win the RBSA Cup along with it. They made great money, as he still holds the record for biggest ever transfer for a Banijan at a stunning $6 million NSDs. They've been regressing every season for the past four seasons, and being victims of the BSL's first ever promotion/relegation system.

They have to figure out how to get it together before they pay the price. How Protesilaus Soter has kept his job, is beyond us at this magazine. He's been awful, but the ownership wasted away the Afolayan money and hasn't done anything in years to improve this squad. They have the youngest center back partnership in the league, with a pair of teenagers, 19 years olds, taking on the position. What will wake them up? That is why we predict that they will be relegated. Their fall will finally be complete, they will finally hit rock bottom, and they will take time to figure out what exactly they need to do to earn their place back in Banija's top flight.

Season 7 Table Prediction
1. Jinja City FC
2. Busukuma Athletic Club
3. Herzegovina City FC
4. Hoima Warriors
5. Herzegovina Phoenix
6. Istria City FC
7. Bunyoro RSC
8. Mynda Electra
9. Busukuma Force
10. Isipongo Flash
11. Busembe Timberwolves
12. Kitara AA
13. Lwanga Lions
14. Rukunbi FC
15. Umbazi Metropolitan Soccer Club
16. Lakiska SC
17. Bwubanza City SC
18. Aissa United FC
19. Dukuma SC
20. Askatasuna FC
Last edited by Banija on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Banija
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Posts: 2341
Founded: Mar 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:12 pm

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First two rounds of RBSA Cup played as regional league squads get ready to start the season

Image
Corizova United players celebrate a goal in their blowout 2nd round victory over Dodoma City SC


RBSA Cup Round 1
Corizova United 1–0 AFC Kosactus
Byakado City 1–0 Thayaferu United
AFC Akwadua 0–1 Koszagard City
Okakameb City 0–1 Mukegara Warriors
Luguyala Patriots 1–2 Tripoli Foresters
Gadive City 0–1 Umbazi FA
Nanami Dragons 2–1 Sororo City
Kabakono City 1–2 Nezrouch Rovers
Koksho City 3–1 Suwawa FC
Hawabark Boulders 3–3 Eastern Moravica Football Club (3–4 AET)
Busemlu Park SC 1–1 Zakuta City (1–2 AET)
Jaribga Soccer Club 2–1 Nsade United
Mamari City 0–0 Boufaya Ravens (0–0 AET) (1–3 pen.)
Barmos United 2–1 Cerenus United
Baleweye Football Club 2–2 Amaku City FC (3–2 AET)
AFC Okahavi 1–0 Igulu City FC
Taramazna United 0–0 Ogbordu Diamond Football Club (0–0 AET) (5–4 pen.)
Capitol City Football Club 1–0 Slobochia Bears
Kitara Athletic Society 0–2 Abomfa United
Tezirbu Foxes 2–1 Duntho Sporting Club
Selekawe Knights 1–1 Pumbasa Bears (1–1 AET) (1–2 pen.)
Djoro Athletic 0–0 Dimbogourou Sporting Club (0–1 AET)
Kigagana Mountaineers 1–2 Dodoma City SC
Kwadama Dojo 0–3 Garixas City


RBSA Cup Round 2
Zakuta City 2–1 Baleweye Football Club
Umbazi FA 2–3 Abomfa United
Koszagard City 3–1 Taramazna United
Tezirbu Foxes 1–2 Tripoli Foresters
Barmos United 1–2 Jaribga Soccer Club
Dimbogourou Sporting Club 0–1 AFC Okahavi
Corizova United 5–1 Dodoma City SC
Byakado City 0–0 Eastern Moravica Football Club (0–1 AET)
Garixas City 1–2 Mukegara Warriors
Koksho City 0–0 Capitol City Football Club (0–0 AET) (4–3 pen.)
Nanami Dragons 1–0 Pumbasa Bears
Boufaya Ravens 1–0 Nezrouch Rovers


And now, with the first two rounds of the RBSA Cup completed, we are ready to have our regional league season preview! And, of course, the stakes are the highest- one of these 48 teams, next season, will be plying their trade in the Banijan Soccer League, as opposed to being a full-fledged member of the regional league system.

Northwestern League
The one quirk within the regional league system has been dubbed by many the 'Corizova exception'. Of course, the four regional league champions will be entered into a playoff, and the winner of the playoff wins promotion. However, there has been an exemption offered by the RBSA for consistently good performances. Corizova United, of course, was the only one of the four regional league champions that actually held their title, winning back to back. And, of course, Corizova United also is the only team in the entire UICA to qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup group stage in back to back seasons. A rule was written in there that if a team won their regional league title for three seasons in a row, the playoff for that season would be cancelled and they would earn automatic promotion. This is, of course, to reward consistency. But the rule had a obvious target, and that was Corizova United, who are favored to win their third title in a row.

One team to seriously keep an eye on this season, is Suwawa FC. THey signed Reginius Kunst, a heralded teenage prospect from Cosumar. The 18 year old central midfielder, right before the season started, was on the country's roster for the Di Bradini Cup- one of 5 players in the RBSA, and the only one in a regional league, who played in the Di Bradini Cup. The teenager is talented, but of course, it goes beyond that. It shows Suwawa FC's dedication to winning. Last season, going out to hire a foreign manager all the way from Nuovo Juvencus, and this season, going to Cosumar and signing a top prospect, shows that the dedication is there from the top. Are they as talented as Corizova? They might be a year away, but they are certainly a squad that's on the rise.

Corizova this year, of course, is playing with a challenge they did not have before. The pressure to get promoted, the pressure to win the league, and, of course, that they will get everybody's best shot during the season. In the first two rounds of RBSA Cup play, it looked like they could handle, with a 1-0 home victory in the first round followed by a 5 goal showing against Dodoma City SC. They have the talent, they have the mindset- can they succeed? The Tripoli Foresters, the Islander side, had a pair of 2-1 away victories in the RBSA Cup- showing them as a potential threat to challenge Corizova United's bid for automatic promotion. Not to mention, Corizova United will be playing Serie B Champions Cup matches during the season- meaning they will be playing well over 50 competitive games when it is all said and done, so tired legs could become a factor. Corizova United are the favorites to repeat, and ultimately, we expect them to, but watch for the Islander sides, especially Tripoli Foresters and Jaribga Soccer Club, to come out of the woodwork and launch a serious title challenge.



Lower Coastal League
Kabakono City. The only regional league squad, last season, to reach the century mark in points. They have to open as joint favorites with Capitol City Football Club, who won the title the season before. The two, clearly the class of their league and slowly becoming rivals, are fierce competitors. Kabakono City, however, was dealt a shock RBSA Cup loss in the 1st round, falling 2-1 at home to the Nezrouch Rovers, who finished 9th last season in the Northwestern League. Does that foreshadow troubling times coming for Kabakono City? They failed to qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup group stage this summer too, falling on penalties in the second preliminary round to Weldsmith. They missed all three penalties in their shootout in that, and it gives you a sense that they cannot handle the pressure. Which, of course, leaves plenty of room for Capitol City Football Club.

CCFC, as talented of a side as any, is expected to try and come back. They earned 91 points last season, and if it wasn't for Kabakono City's stunning season last year, that point total is usually enough to earn a trophy. They have a brand new manager, Akhona Joyi, who is 44 years old. He has to be the biggest question mark. He is young, he is local. If he can get through to his players, they can challenge. If not? He'll be in trouble. Who else within the Lower Coastal League can challenge for a title? Well, Zakuta City got 89 points last season, and they certainly must be respected. They are one of the 12 regional league squads to make it past the first two rounds of the RBSA Cup, unlike Kabakono or Capitol City FC. A strong, encouraging start, they will certainly be the third squad to watch in what is expected to be a three horse race for the Lower Coastal League title.

Southern League
This one is the most wide open league, isn't it? The Hawabark Boulders made it to the Serie B Champions Cup a couple of seasons ago, but fell from first to third last season, but fell in extra time to Eastern Moravica FC in the 1st round of the RBSA Cup, which has to be a troubling loss. Typically known for stout defending, they allowed four goals at home to a midtable side from the Northwestern League, absolutely hurting their case to come back. However, let's look at the other primary contenders. Sororo City, the defending champs, also fell at the first hurdle, while the Bears cleared the first hurdle, only to fall at the second against the Nanami Dragons. Dramatically, in their 1-0 loss in the second round of the RBSA Cup, they actually hit the post three times- but of course, they failed to hit the back of the net as they were upset and knocked out by the Dragons.

There is a lot of parity in this league, and quite a few teams will be excited at the prospect of taking the trophy to their own cabinet. The Ravens finished 30 points behind the pace set by Sororo City last season. However, this season, the Ravens have started well, winning a shootout in Round 1, followed by a clean sheet victory in Round 2. Abomfa United also suprised quite a few people, winning a pair of away games to start the season. They finished 9th out of 12 last season- now they are in the 3rd round of the RBSA Cup? It's too early to write home about, but it is obviously an encouraging start. We don't think they have the talent to be consistent over the course of the campaign, but a cup run... A cup run would most certainly be something they are capable of. But who knows? The Southern League is always wild.

Look at the Mukegara Warriors. A team that only signs players from that tribe, that unique tribe, that tribe that allows no visitors, won a pair of away games and also find themselves in the 3rd round of the RBSA Cup. Could they make a run? It'd be difficult, and frankly, we're not sure that they have it in them. But the fact that they are here, a tribe that worships the Quebecois monarch, a tribe that is so unique, so isolated, has even won a pair of games in this tournament is shocking in and of itself. They finished 8th last season in the league, which shows the parity in the Southern League. At this point, it's truly anyone's ball game, so be it far from us to predict who can win this league. Here's what we do know- it'll be a blast to watch, and whoever wins this league will certainly be battle tested for the playoffs, assuming Corizova does not repeat.

Northern League
Ah, the Northern League. Covers a massive amount of land area, generally considered, alongside the Southern League, to be one of the weaker regional leagues- as opposed to the strength of the Lower Coastal and the Northwestern Leagues. The league came down to the final day last season, when 5 teams ended up finishing within 5 points of the league champs, Igulu City FC, who had 85 points. All five seasons are gearing up for what should be another wild ride, and another entertaining season of the Northern League. Abraham Akampurira, the 38 year old Igulu CIty FC manager who is a few months younger than his goalkeeper, wants another crack at the playoff, where he did not qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup last season.

Look at the Dragons, however, rising in this league. Knocking out last season's top two finishers in the Southern League, back to back- the defending champs Sororo City, and then the defending runner-ups, the Pumbasa Bears. They didn't just beat anybody, they beat a pair of quality teams, with high expectations, who expect to be competing for promotion. The hype train for that squad, of course, is about to blast off from the station after those two big wins. They finished fifth last season, but just five points behind the champs, they are right there. Led by a veteran midfield, they are certainly capable of making a run at that trophy, and finally becoming the first Northern League team to do something in the playoff. Ironically, the Dragons are seen, alongside Corizova United, as the team with the best chance of upsetting a BSL side in the next round, assuming they get drawn with a midtable side.

They have momentum, and they have confidence. Other teams in the league, of course, will be confident- Cerenus United, and Garixas City, for example, are teams that always compete. But this will also be a league that's fairly open, at least compared to the Northwestern League and the Lower Coastal League, where there are only a couple of teams that have a serious chance of winning those leagues. It will be a fun league to follow, and if it is as close as it was last season, when five teams were still in the running on the final weekend of the season, Matchday 44, then it will certainly be worth your while to follow the league's progress.
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Postby Banija » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:51 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Part 1

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And the season is underway! Kicked off, of course, with the Kabaka's Cup- the defending BSL champions against the defending RBSA Cup champions, with the league champs taking their first trophy of the season, winning 1-0 at the national stadium. A small note from the magazine, as well, in regards to the scores. International club competition matches are played midweek. UICA Champions Cup fixtures on Tuesdays, AOCL matches are played on Wednesdays, while Vilitan Cove International matches are on Thursdays. The BSL plays on Saturdays and Sundays. These mathces are listed on the matchday they precede. So, for example, the Champions group stage match listed under Matchday 3 happened in the week leading up to Matchday 3, after Matchday 2.

Kabaka's Cup
Herzegovina City FC 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Herzegovina City FC is the Season 7 winner of the Kabaka's Cup


The Kabaka's Cup- Banija's supercup! Always the formal kickoff to the season, but of course, after the first pair of RBSA Cup games, when the 12 regional league sides seperate themselves for who will compete with the 20 BSL sides in the Round of 32 of Banija's cup competition. But the Kabaka's Cup, a fairly young competition, has represented the start of the season, it is a competitive trophy, and, of course, the winner qualifies for the VIlitan Cove International- if, of course, they do not also qualify for UICA competition. It is an interesting format, but many countries have a supercup, and the winners of the BSL and the RBSA Cup compete at the national stadium to see who can bring home the first trophy the season has to offer.

Herzegovina City FC, the defending BSL champs, who spent the summer months qualifying for both the UICA Champions Cup group stage and the Atlantian Oceania Champions League group stage, came into the matchup as the favorites. They have the talent, they have the coach. They played in this game last season, when it was moved to the Spring instead of the kickoff, because of scheduling conflicts with the Baptism of Fire. They lost in extra time, with Atsushi Ryu putting the dagger into their hearts in the 108th minute. This season, however, they were going to reverse that. Ennis Leishmann, now the team's lone striker after the sale of Guillermo Madruga and the switch from a back three to a back four, scored the game's lone goal, converting a penalty in the 58th minute. That was enough, as Brian Emerson raised his second trophy as the HZCFC manager, and their run of dominance continued, picking up their fifth domestic trophy since the beginning of Season 3, the most out of any team in Banija. That run includes, of course, three league titles, and a RBSA Cup- including Herzegovina City FC's undefeated season last season. Brian Emerson, in his second season here, continues to have the club reach new heights, and this win will look to establish their claim as Banija's most dominant club.

Hoima Warriors 3–1 Askatasuna FC
Kitara AA 4–1 Bwubanza City SC
Herzegovina Phoenix 3–0 Mynda Electra
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Bunyoro RSC
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–0 Rukunbi FC
Istria City FC 1–0 Jinja City FC
Herzegovina City FC 1–0 Busukuma Force
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 3–1 Lakiska SC
Dukuma SC 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves
Isipongo Flash 0–0 Aissa United FC


Matchday 1! The opening weekend of the season provided lots of sparks, but not very much in the way of surprises. The Herzegovina Phoenix, picking up from their surprising fourth place finish last season, dominated at Phoenix Stadium, winning 3-0 over Mynda Electra. Bunyoro RSC, with Adam Jeffreys of Razenthuria at the helm, got a perfect debut for their new manager, winning 1-0 over the Lwanga Lions to kick off the season. Playing with a unique 4-2-4 formation, one that hasn't been seen before in the BSL, they were able to generate a lot of pressure, and Guillame Fontanils, the 20 year old Acronius international, scored on his debut for the club. There weren't much surprises on this matchday, as the Super 5 in general took care of business. Jehan Blair, making his management debut for the Hoima Warriors, won 3-1 over Askatasuna FC, while Busukuma AC and Herzegovina FC both opened the season with 1-0 home victories.

The best matchup heading into this weekend, of course, was the pair of Super 5 clubs, Istria City vs. Jinja City FC. They had an entertaining matchup to start the season- both teams flying up and down the field, both teams trying to improve from last season, where Istria City had fallen out of the UICA slots entirely, while Jinja City FC had their fourth straight second place finish in the league. The difference, however, was a 68th minute header from defender Maximiliane Purcell on a corner kick, that beat his fellow countrymen Corren Dankworth. A deserved win for the home side, who had quite a challenge to earn all three points in week 1. And in the last match of note, Kitara AA had an excellent start, where Nick Haller of the Commonwealth of Baker Park, their new, 26 year old winger, scored twice in his debut. Overall, an entertaining first weekend, where everyone who was supposed to win, won, and Kitara AA piled it onto their relegation threatened opponents.

Askatasuna FC 0–2 Aissa United FC
Busembe Timberwolves 2–2 Isipongo Flash
Lakiska SC 3–3 Dukuma SC

Busukuma Force 0–2 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Jinja City FC 0–1 Herzegovina City FC
Rukunbi FC 0–1 Istria City FC
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Busukuma Athletic Club
Mynda Electra 0–0 Lwanga Lions
Bwubanza City SC 2–1 Herzegovina Phoenix
Hoima Warriors 3–1 Kitara AA

Vilitan Cove International Preliminary Round- 1st Leg
Istria City FC 0-1 Alnio(CMT)


And let's start with the first match! The VCI Preliminary Rounds, saw Istria City matched with Alnio of Chromatika. The first leg at home, the Banijan squad most certainly wanted a victory to give themselves a chance to pull off what would be an incredible, two-legged upset. That, of course, would not happen. Alnio comes from a stronger league, and therefore, is a stronger side- the difference in quality was apparent to the naked eye. Alnio dominated the matchup, ending with 57% possesion, and 8 shots on goal to Istria City FC's two. It took a stellar performance from Istria goalkeeper Gabriel Negus, but still, they couldn't hold off Alnio forever. A team known for a strong defense, they scored on a penalty in the 72nd, and earned a deserved 1-0 road victory. The path to victory for Istria City FC is possible, as on the scoreboard, the tie certainly isn't over, but the mountain will be steep.

Now, of course, the league play on the weekend. There were some important results this weekend. First, of course, let's look at the Super 5 matchup, where Jinja City FC played host to Herzegovina City FC. The defending champs went on the road, and won again, by a score of 1-0. This means that Jinja City is 0-2, but they also can't catch a break, opening the season with road games against Istria City and Herzegovina City, respectively. It will certainly get a little bit easier as the season goes on, as that's about the toughest opening act to a season that a team could ask for. There was a pair of major upsets too. Bunyoro RSC got a massive win, defeating Busukuma AC 1-0, while Bwubanza City SC, a team many think will get relegated, defeated the Herzegovina Phoenix by a score of 2-1 on their home field. Certain teams have more class than others, but those two results show that is clear- despite Herzegovina City's undefeated season, there is certainly a fair amount of parity within the BSL.

The game to watch this weekend, of course, was the Istria City derby. Istria City FC vs. Rukunbi FC. Anyone remember their last game at Eastern Stadium last season- where the Rukunbi FC fans were so rowdy after the upset, that they had to play a home game behind closed doors? Banija's longest running rivalry, there is no love lost between these two sides, and especially their fans. There was extra security on hand for this game, as leave for the gameday for Istria police officers was cancelled, because of this massive matchup, and the potential for violence. It was a rough game on the field, too- rough fouls everywhere, big hits, bodies flying everywhere. But Istria City FC got the win at their rival's stadium, as Assefa Yitebarke scored an early goal in the 8th minute, which proved enough for his team to take home the 1-0 victory. And while plenty of people were arrested, they were able to keep the peace this time, as Rukunbi FC fans were much more under control this time around.

Kitara AA 1–0 Askatasuna FC
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–2 Hoima Warriors
Lwanga Lions 1–1 Bwubanza City SC

Busukuma Athletic Club 2–0 Mynda Electra
Istria City FC 0–0 Bunyoro RSC
Herzegovina City FC 4–0 Rukunbi FC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 2–2 Jinja City FC
Dukuma SC 0–1 Busukuma Force
Isipongo Flash 2–1 Lakiska SC
Aissa United FC 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 1
Eastweald(COS) 4-1 Herzegovina City FC


And on Tuesday, of course, the first game of the Champions Cup proper for Herzegovina City FC! A historic moment for Herzegovina City FC, and for the BSL in general, as they enter club soccer's most prestigious tournament. Of course, at this stage of this competition, there are no easy opponents- and that opponent is Eastweald of Cosumar. Of course, they won the Harlighet Ligan, and they come into this season with tons of confidence, as favorites to repeat as league champions in Cosumar, a global top 5 league. The matchup of league champions- but in Brian Emerson's coaching return to Cosumar, Eastweald, unsurprisingly, got the better of his squad, scoring three first half goals en route to a 4-1 victory. Elias Abate scored a goal in the 88th minute, a watermark moment for the club.

And then, of course, back to the league. A pair of Super 5 clubs, Busukuma AC and Herzegovina City FC, took care of business. Busukuma AC won 2-0 at home over Mynda Electra, behind goals from Alanso Tamba and Alex Sandoval. Herzegovina City FC won 4-0, a big route over Rukunbi FC, showing no signs of fatigue from their weekday Champions Cup matchup. But elsewhere, there was some interesting results. Bunyoro RSC held Istria City FC to a 0-0 draw away from home, which in Adam Jeffreys book, has to count as a victory against a Super 5 opponent. While it's still early, the hire continues to look better and better.

Surprisingly, Jinja City FC could not claim all three points in Umbazi, as the two clubs split the spoils scoring two goals a piece. And the most entertaining matchup, had to be the Phoenix hosting the Hoima Warriors. The Warriors, who have been down for a few years, against a new rising club like the Phoenix, the sparks were always going to fly. Josef Lawerenz, fresh off of starting in the Di Bradini Cup, scored his first goal for the Phoenix, scoring the opener for the home side. Julian Turner replied quickly for the Warriors to make it 1-1. A 60th minute header by 36 year old Senay gave the Phoenix a 2-1 lead, but the Warriors continued to fight to equalized. But 2 minutes deep into stoppage time, a shot from distance by John Katumba was mishandled by the Phoenix goalkeeper, and the ball slipped through his hands into the back of the net. A howler, but one that got the Warriors an important point, splitting the spoils at 2-2.

Askatasuna FC 2–2 Busembe Timberwolves
Lakiska SC 2–4 Aissa United FC
Busukuma Force 1–1 Isipongo Flash
Jinja City FC 2–0 Dukuma SC
Rukunbi FC 2–3 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Bunyoro RSC 4–1 Herzegovina City FC
Mynda Electra 0–1 Istria City FC
Bwubanza City SC 0–5 Busukuma Athletic Club
Hoima Warriors 0–2 Lwanga Lions
Kitara AA 0–2 Herzegovina Phoenix

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 1
Carter FC 3-2 Herzegovina City FC


And this week, of course, time for the Atlantian Oceania Champions League! A tough game for Herzegovina City FC, as Carter FC is their first opponent. In this big game, of course, Carter FC, out of Jasĭyun, came out on top of a fierce matchup, and won, 3-2. First half strikes from Aaron Aiza and Boimah Ba away from home were not enough, as the BSL champs blew a 2-1 halftime lead to eventually fall, 3-2. In truth, on paper, it would have been quite an upset for Brian Emerson's squad to emerge victorious, but still, a well fought battle.

Going back to the league. There was a massive upset on hand, when the Hoima Warriors fell 2-0, at home, to the Lwanga Lions. After battling for a point against the Phoenix, with a pair of equalizers, it was the youth movement of the Lions that put them ahead. Xavier Melchoir, the 18 year old from Taeshan, scored in the 34th minute, while Phineas Antwell, of Cosumar, scored in the 57th minute on a devastating counter attack to shock the hosts. Elsewhere, other Super 5 clubs took care of business, as Busukuma AC won 5-0 away from home, Istria City FC and Jinja City FC both earned victories, and even the Herzegovina Phoenix won their game.

The biggest stunner of the weekend, of course, was Herzegovina City FC. It seems like the wear and tear of their busy schedule finally got to them- playing their fourth match in 12 days, visiting Bunyoro RSC. It was written on the walls- Herzegovina City FC, dominant, but tired, against an up and coming team from the Bunyoro region, who have started off the season strong. Bunyoro RSC won 4-1 today over Herzegovina City FC, finally becoming the first team to defeat HZCFC in the league since the final day of Season 5. This is Brian Emerson's 42nd league game as the manager of Herzegovina City FC- and his first loss in the league. An incredible run of unquestioned dominance, though what a massive statement win for Adam Jeffreys. More on that, of course, later.

Herzegovina Phoenix 4–0 Askatasuna FC
Lwanga Lions 0–0 Kitara AA
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–0 Hoima Warriors
Istria City FC 4–4 Bwubanza City SC
Herzegovina City FC 0–2 Mynda Electra
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–0 Bunyoro RSC
Dukuma SC 1–0 Rukunbi FC
Isipongo Flash 0–1 Jinja City FC
Aissa United FC 3–1 Busukuma Force
Busembe Timberwolves 2–2 Lakiska SC


No midweek action this week, just league play! Herzegovina City FC lost their second straight game, falling to Mynda Electra, by a score of 2-0. Of course, the team could be worn down, or of course, the more likely solution is that they are simply reverting back to the mean. Their third consecutive loss in all competitions is not something that they want to deal with- however, it is something that they must deal with. Nobody's really worried about them, as everyone marvels at the 41 league match unbeaten streak that the team just had. Another loss here, of course, but nobody's too worried- the team walked out to a standing ovation in appreciation of what they have done when they entered the field.

Elsewhere around the league, the title contenders did well. The Herzegovina Phoenix, who are finally making some noise, won again- a 4-0 home victory over Askatasuna FC. Jinja City FC won, 1-0 away from home, in a very controversial manner against the Isipongo Flash. Jayce Howard, the Brenician center back and captain, was given a controversial handball in the box by the referee in the 88th minute, when his hands were in the air but the ball seemed to clearly hit his head. It produced a massive argument, where Flash manager, Chuka Belonwu, who spit at the referee in disgust after the call, earned a red card and will probably face quite a fine and suspension. After everything calmed down, Lin Moon calmly buried the penalty. The match had to be called at that point, as Flash fans began to litter the field with bottles and whatever was in their pockets, at the bad call. It was quite a scene, as the police had to escort the referees out of the city after the matchup. Of course, there will likely be fines coming their way after the fan reaction and the coach spitting at a referee.

Askatasuna FC 2–0 Lakiska SC
Busukuma Force 2–2 Busembe Timberwolves
Jinja City FC 2–0 Aissa United FC
Rukunbi FC 2–0 Isipongo Flash
Bunyoro RSC 3–0 Dukuma SC
Mynda Electra 1–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Bwubanza City SC 0–2 Herzegovina City FC
Hoima Warriors 1–2 Istria City FC
Kitara AA 1–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
Herzegovina Phoenix 3–0 Lwanga Lions

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 2
Herzegovina City FC 0-0 San Marco Storm(PCR)


And back to the Champions Cup! The first ever Champions Cup group stage match hosted on Banijan soil- Herzegovina City FC hosting San Marco Storm of Port Christopher. HZCFC and San Marco Storm battled hard, but they ended up fighting it out to a scoreless draw. Herzegovina City FC defended fiercely, and as their first ever point in the Champions Cup group stages, the fans were ecstatic. Expectations, of course, are extremely low for this team in the competition, and this point was a large step forward.

Now off to the league, shall we? The Herzegovina Phoenix defeated the Lwanga Lions 3-0 at home, powered by Corvid Alemane, the 31 year old striker they signed over the summer. He is still packing a punch, and had a hat trick in this matchup. Jinja City FC won their rivalry game with Aissa United, Herzegovina City FC got back to its winning ways, winning 2-0 over Bwubanza City SC, and Busukuma Athletic Club defeating Kitara AA 2-1 away from home. That game's action was heavy early, as Ikshu Amitabh scored a 2nd minute opener, but Alanso Tamba scored for the capitol side twice, in the 6th and 9th minutes. And for the last 81 minutes plus stoppage, there were no goals. A game that you really needed to be on time for, eh?

The big matchup headed into the weekend, however, was Istria City FC and the Hoima Warriors. Another Super 5 matchup, and as seems to be tradition for the Warriors the past few seasons, they simply couldn't get over the hump, and fell to Istria City, 2-1 at home. The Warriors are in a strange place- a big budget, a big fanbase, but they can never seem to put it together anymore, It's been forever since they finished in the top four, and their manager always seems to be on the hot seat. Eventually, they'll win a big game, but until then, their fanbase, with expectations of title every year, will continue to get frustrated.

Lwanga Lions 0–1 Askatasuna FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 0–2 Herzegovina Phoenix
Istria City FC 4–0 Kitara AA
Herzegovina City FC 1–0 Hoima Warriors
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–2 Bwubanza City SC
Dukuma SC 0–0 Mynda Electra
Isipongo Flash 1–0 Bunyoro RSC
Aissa United FC 6–1 Rukunbi FC
Busembe Timberwolves 0–2 Jinja City FC
Lakiska SC 0–1 Busukuma Force

Vilitan Cove International Preliminary Round- 2nd Leg
Alnio(CMT) 2-1 Istria City FC
Alnio advances 3-1 on aggregate

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 2
Herzegovina City FC 0-2 X SC


Two midweek matchups! The first was Istria City FC's visit to Alnio for the second leg of their tie. Alnio's early goals, in the 4th and 14th minutes, pretty much buried Istria City FC, as the home side decided to sit deep and let Istria City FC take the game to them. Of course, there is a gulf in quality between the leagues, and a 2-1 result is not exactly a stunner. Assefa Yitebarke scored Istria City's lone goal in the 71st minute, though at that point, the tie was pretty much over. Istria City FC didn't play poorly, and they shouldn't hang their heads- they were simply outclassed by a better side.

Herzegovina City FC played X SC at home in the AOCL this week as well, falling 2-0. The stadium was rocking for the matchup, but X SC of 95X was too strong for the defending BSL champs. A goal in the 31st minute saw Herzegovina City FC force into more of a pressing style, where they tried desperately to equalize at home. However, Herzegovina City FC was exposed to the counter. Delbin Kasekende kept the team in the game, of course, but an 84th minute counter finished the home side, as they fell 2-0 in the regional competition,

And, of course, a big matchday in the league! Herzegovina City FC won their Super 5 matchup, recovering nicely from their AOCL matchup with a 1-0 win over the Hoima Warriors, with Aaron Aiza scoring in the 31st minute. Busukuma Athletic Club also had a big matchup, hosting the Herzegovina Phoenix. The Phoenix, somewhat surprisingly, went to this nation's capitol and earned a big time victory, winning 2-0. Corvid Alemane again dominated the proceedings, scored twice in the first half.

Elsewhere in the Super 5, the big clubs took care of business. Jinja City FC won away from home, while Istria City FC won 4-0 on their home field, dominating proceedings at Kabonero III Field. And, somewhat surprisingly, Bunyoro RSC, after some pretty big wins this season so far, fell to the Isipongo Flash, where Noah Lamont Hill, the Devontan, scored the game's lone goal, An interesting matchday, an entertaining matchday for everyone involved.

Askatasuna FC 0–2 Busukuma Force
Jinja City FC 2–0 Lakiska SC
Rukunbi FC 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Bunyoro RSC 2–0 Aissa United FC
Mynda Electra 1–0 Isipongo Flash
Bwubanza City SC 1–1 Dukuma SC
Hoima Warriors 1–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Kitara AA 1–0 Herzegovina City FC
Herzegovina Phoenix 1–0 Istria City FC
Lwanga Lions 0–0 Busukuma Athletic Club


And Matchday 8! No midweek games this time, just good, old-fashioned, league play. It was a week of home cooking- 10 games played through this weekend, and only one away team won- the Friday night game, where Busukuma Force went to Askatasuna FC and won, 2-0. Otherwise, there were 7 home winners and two draws. And in a weekend with that much home cooking, there are bound to be some upsets, and there were certainly a few that happened on this matchday. First, let's go through the expected- Bunyoro RSC recovering from their trip to Isipongo with a healthy 2-0 win against Aissa United, while Jinja City FC also won 2-0 over last place Lakiska SC, and the Hoima Warriors won 1-0 over Umbazi Metropolitan SC.

We'll talk about the last three games of the weekend in depth, because that is where the chaos happened, in what is looking like will be a chaotic season. First, Herzegovina City FC lost again, falling 1-0 away from home to Kitara Athletic Association. A surprise loss, of course, for Brian Emerson's side, but yes, those happen. Kitara AA was the better side on the matchday, of course, deserving its 1-0 win. They played well behind the ball, they took their chances, and suffocated Herzegovina City FC. The same formula was used by the Lwanga Lions, as they held Busukuma AC to a 0-0 draw in the nightcap- fierce defending, and while they didn't take their chances, they still took a point from a championship contender.

Then, of course, there was the big matchup- Herzegovina Phoenix vs. Istria City FC. The Phoenix were able to emerge victorious, victors by a score of 1-0. It was the Nepharim midfielder, Orion Etzebeth, who dominated this game nearly single handedly. Leading the league in miles run, he seems to be everywhere, and the signing has been a wonderful fit for the Phoenix so far. He was finally rewarded for his efforts with his first goal in a purple uniform, hitting quite a shot from nearly 25 yards. The Phoenix, of course, with some big wins, are staking their own claim that they can make a run at the title.

Banijan Soccer League Standings after Matchday 8
Banijan Soccer League          Pld   W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Herzegovina Phoenix 8 6 1 1 18 4 +14 19
2 Bunyoro RSC 8 5 2 1 11 2 +9 17
3 Istria City FC 8 5 2 1 13 6 +7 17
4 Busukuma Athletic Club 8 5 1 2 11 4 +7 16
Jinja City FC 8 5 1 2 11 4 +7 16
6 Herzegovina City FC 8 5 0 3 10 7 +3 15
7 Aissa United FC 8 4 1 3 15 9 +6 13
8 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 8 3 3 2 12 9 +3 12
9 Busukuma Force 8 3 2 3 8 9 −1 11
10 Hoima Warriors 8 3 1 4 10 10 0 10
11 Busembe Timberwolves 8 2 4 2 10 11 −1 10
12 Kitara AA 8 3 1 4 8 12 −4 10
13 Isipongo Flash 8 2 3 3 6 8 −2 9
14 Mynda Electra 8 2 3 3 4 7 −3 9
15 Bwubanza City SC 8 2 3 3 11 19 −8 9
16 Lwanga Lions 8 1 4 3 3 6 −3 7
17 Askatasuna FC 8 2 1 5 6 14 −8 7
18 Dukuma SC 8 1 3 4 5 11 −6 6
19 Rukunbi FC 8 2 0 6 6 16 −10 6
20 Lakiska SC 8 0 2 6 9 19 −10 2


Four Over-reactions from the first 8 games of the season

And, of course, as we tend to do, we're bringing you our top 5 overreactons to the start of the season. Early season, is, of course, telling- lets you know how teams will do. But there is plenty of season left- and there are so many hot takes i what tends to always be the most chaotic part of the season, where a short hot run gives the biggest impact in the standings, as opposed to telling whether or not a team can actually maintain that pace for an entire season.

#1 Herzegovina Phoenix in first and Bunyoro RSC in second? The Super 5 is finished.

Like we just said above, there is plenty of season left, but the table is what the table is- the Herzegovina Phoenix are in first place, and Bunyoro RSC is in second place, 8 games into the season. Both have surprised in this early part of the season, winning games you wouldn't have expected them to, and taking large steps forward in the context of soccer within the nation. They have done a lot right so far, which we will talk about.

The Herzegovina Phoenix are continuing their form from last season. Mark Grayson came to this club and revolutionized it- broke the stranglehold the Super 5 had on the league's UICA spots, busting into the Globe Cup. They continue to improve, and that is thanks to the signings of his two countrymen, Corvid Alemane and Orion Etzebeth. Both stars within their own right, they are shining here in Banija. Alemane has pace, can go from a walk to a sprint in the snap of a finger. And Orion Etzebeth has been fierce in the back- running all over the place, breaking up all kinds of attacks. Even though he's not a member of it, he is widely seen as the leader of the back line. A vocal leader, depending on how long he decides to stay in Banija, he's a favorite to get the armband next season.

Bunyoro RSC is the biggest surprise. Their new manager, Adam Jeffreys, has made an immediate impact. They have the best defense in the league, only allowing 2 goals in their first 8 games. The man from Razenthuria is confident, and wants to make a name for himself. He has the team meshing, and their 4-1 victory over Herzegovina City FC will be one that is certainly remembered for a while around Bunyoro RSC.

Why do we say it's an over-reaction, then, that the Super 5 is finished? It's only been 8 games. We are getting to the slog of the season, where teams with more resources, naturally, start to seperate themselves. The Warriors, famous for their poor starts, will be looking to climb back up the table. And of course, teams like Busukuma, Jinja, Istria City, and HZCFC, simply have more talent, at least on paper. We expect those teams to assert themselves as the season goes on.

#2 Foreign managers are dominating the league! There are no local coaches!

Now, of course, there is a little bit of truth to this statement. The league leader, Herzegovina Phoenix, are coached Mark Grayson of Nephara. The second place team, Bunyoro RSC, are managed by a Razenthurian, while the defending champs are helmed by a Cosumarite. It's easy to point at all that and say that Banijan coaches are down, Banijan managers are done. And, of course, that is simply not true.

There are still plenty of Banijan coaches moving up the pipeline, and domestic managers that are finding success within Banija's premier soccer competition. The most prominent example, is the Season 5 champs, Istria City FC. Erechtheus Condos, in his 8th and final season as the Istria City FC manager, has his team just two points off of the pace being set by the Herzegovina Phoenix. Clearly, a domestic manager. Alexander Bumba, who was hired as Jinja City FC's manager, is only 48 years old, and in his seventh season at the helm. Four straight second place finishes is frustrating, of course, but that's consistency if I've ever seen it.

And coming up the ranks, there is plenty of domestic coaching talent coming through the pipeline. Simon Wanjala, former national team center back, has been well regarded for his youth movement in Lwanga. Aissa United FC, coming off of a last place finish, has recovered nicely. Gregory Banis, who somehow managed to keep his job even after the last place finish, has the team in seventh- they won't be winning any trophies, but at this rate, they'll be extremely safe from relegation. He has done a good job, changing tactics and it shows in the team's record.

Ultimately, of course, there's always going to be that perception- because teams don't spend all that money searching abroad for average managers, while it's quite different hiring a domestic manager. Rest be assured, though- there are plenty of talented, domestic managers coming through the pipeline, and I'm sure we'll be hearing about them in the coming months.

#3 The BSL might lose a team from Istria- Rukunbi FC might get relegated!

Now this would be a disaster from the offices of the Banijan Soccer League. Rukunbi FC is a traditional mid table side- nothing special about them. But right now, they are in 19th place, just one spot out of last place, which means relegation. From a monetary standpoint, Rukunbi FC's relegation would be an absolute disaster for the Banijan Soccer League- because of their position in Banija's biggest market, they'd lose a lot of TV revenue.

Like we said, sometimes teams get off to hot starts, and they look better than they are. That's largely what happened with Bunyoro RSC, who we believe doesn't have the talent to maintain a serious push for a UICA berth throughout the course of the season. And the opposite has happened to Rukunbi FC. If it wasn't for an embarassinlgy poor start by Lakiska SC, who have only earned a shocking two points through the first eight matchdays, they would be the favorites to be relegated.

However, Rukunbi FC won't be relegated. There's almost no way they perform as badly as they have throughout the rest of the season, losing 6 out of their first 8. Teague Spanos, in his 9th season and now, of course, on the hot seat, is too good of a manager to let this continue. And there's so much to lose from a league standpoint- Rukunbi FC and Istria form one of the country's fiercest derbies, but we imagine they'll revert back to the mean so they can finish midtable, though in the bottom half.

#4 Mark Grayson had a perfect transfer window with the Herzegovina Phoenix

The impact that his two biggest signings are having, Corvid Alemane and Orion Etzebeth, cannot be understated. Corvid Alemane is looking likely to be a challenger for the golden boot, as he is at the head of the league's most prolific offense. And Orion Etzebeth, though scoring once, is having all kinds of impact. The big bodied midfielder seems to be everywhere, and it is almost impossible to penetrate the Phoenix back line when he is in front of it. And we haven't even mentioned Josef Lawerenz, who brings youthful energy and is climbing the national team ladder in the Equestrian States, starting in the most recent Di Bradini Cup.

While those two cannot be understated, Mark Grayon's job transforming this squad is not complete. He failed to lure Phineas Antwell from the Lwanga Lions, and there was no plan B- leaving an awkward situation where 36 year old Abram Senay is starting on the left wing for the Phoenix, even though it was clear that Grayson wanted to replace him. Can he hold up over the course of an entire season, especially if the Phoenix keep up their form and make a serious title chase? 35 year old Aaron Eyob is still the left back, and the team's major achilles heel is in net, as we saw on Matchday 3.

The signings he made have seemed to transform the squad, and it is clear that the squad is better than last year's fourth place squad. However, the signings he didn't make are the ones that are going to doom what is, at least for now, a decent title challenge. In the next window, he'll need a left winger and a left back, and we imagine that he'll be going after a goalkeeper as well.

Giants are slain as BSL clubs finally enter the RBSA Cup


RBSA Cup Round of 32
Herzegovina City FC 1–0 Abomfa United
Koksho City 1–3 Isipongo Flash
Zakuta City 1–0 Lwanga Lions
Mynda Electra 2–1 Lakiska SC
Dukuma SC 1–2 Istria City
Aissa United FC 1–1 Askatasuna FC (2–1 AET)
Bunyoro RSC 1–2 Herzegovina Phoenix
Kitara AA 0–3 Busukuma Force
Bwubanza City SC 4–0 Tripoli Foresters
Busukuma Athletic Club 2–1 Jinja City FC
Mukegara Warriors 1–3 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Busembe Timberwolves 1–2 Nanami Dragons
Rukunbi FC 1–0 Eastern Moravica Football Club
Corizova United 1–1 Boufaya Ravens (1–1 AET) (4–2 pen.)
AFC Okahavi 3–0 Jaribga Soccer Club
Koszagard City 0–2 Hoima Warriors


The RBSA Cup- what a competition, isn't it? The 3rd round has now started, and the 20 Banijan Soccer League members have joined the 12 remaining regional league squads for the competition's Round of 32. The matchday was entertaining- 16 games, a lot of excitement, quite a few upsets, and even a Super 5 matchup in the billing!

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Herzegovina City FC, surprisingly, struggled at home against Abomfa United. They are a regional league side, and a lower tier one at that, but they gave the defending BSL champs quite a fight. However, Aaron Aiza was able to work some magic, and scored in the 67th minute to finally break the 0-0 deadlock. It was a worrying game, as they looked sloppy, as they looked lethargic, like they'd rather be anywhere else than playing a regional side. That side, they did advance, and at the end of the day, that is what matters- even if their performance didn't inspire confidence.

Now, of course, looking at our big clubs. The Hoima Warriors, often criticized for their league performances, won 2-0 against Kozagard City on the road. Of course, defeating a regional league side is nothing to write home about, but they are in the round of 16. That is a good step, no matter what. Istria City FC won, 2-1 away from home against Dukuma SC, with an 89th minute penalty from Assefa Yitebarke being the difference between winning and losing on the day.

And then, of course, the two most hyped matchups- the top two teams in the league, the Phoenix and Bunyoro RSC, played each other. Mark Grayson's side got the better of Bunyoro RSC, as Josef Lawerenz scored once and Corvid Alemane scored once. The game wasn't the greatest, bt it was a close one. And then, of course, the two Super 5 teams- when Busukuma AC or Jinja City FC are guaranteed to get eliminated this early, you know fireworks will fly. They fought, they battled, but the capitol side, determined to finally bring home silverware, won 2-1.

And lastly, let's get to the upsets. First, of course, there will be a fair number of regional league sides in the Round of 16. AFC Okahavi won handily over Jaribga Soccer Club, by a score of 3-0, and will be represented. Corizova United eliminated the Boufaya Ravens on penalties, winning a shootout 4-2. But the real upsets, of course, were where regional league sides slayed BSL squads. In a shocking victory, Zakuta City defeated the Lwanga Lions 1-0, and it looked like they could have scored quite a few more than one, dominating the game.

The biggest upset though, had to be the Nanami Dragons. The Busembe Timberwolves won the RBSA Cup, shockingly, last season. But showing the cruelty of the competition, regional league squad Nanami Dragons had a massive upset, winning 2-1 in Busembe. The Timberwolves were the defending champs, had a rock solid defense- but they fell at the first hurdle this season, when they were the only one of 68 to not fall at any hurdle last time around.

We're going to have four regional league squads in the Round of 16- a surprising number, but one, of course, that leaves open the possibility of more massive upsets happening in the next round of this competition. The Round of 16, of course, is still seen as a feeder round- but each winner of the next round will make the quarterfinals, and that is when teams and fanbases seriously start to dream of bringing silverware back to their clubs.
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Postby Banija » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:53 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Part 2

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Busukuma Athletic Club 4–0 Askatasuna FC
Istria City FC 2–0 Lwanga Lions
Herzegovina City FC 4–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 2–0 Kitara AA
Dukuma SC 1–2 Hoima Warriors
Isipongo Flash 2–0 Bwubanza City SC
Aissa United FC 1–2 Mynda Electra
Busembe Timberwolves 3–1 Bunyoro RSC
Lakiska SC 0–3 Rukunbi FC
Busukuma Force 1–6 Jinja City FC


And now, for Matchday 9! This was a big day, highlighted by a massive derby- Herzegovina Phoenix vs Herzegovina City FC. In what is becoming one of Banija's premier rivalries, with so much at stake between the defending champs and league leaders entering into Matchday 9, there was quite a bit of hype and excitement for this matchup. The last time these two teams met, of course, on Matchday 33 of last season, when Herzegovina City FC clinched the league title in a 4-3 wild home victory en route to an undefeated season. However, Brian Emerson's squad did not come to mess around. They wanted to prove that the city was still their city, that the Herzegovina Phoenix were upstarts, that they were the dominant brand in a city that is quickly becoming the epicenter of the sport in this country. And they did so, dominating the game from start to finish in a 4-0 romp over the Phoenix. Mark Grayson's squad wasn't ready- Herzegovina City's trio of attacking midfielders got the job done. Aaron Aiza scored twice in the first half, while Lucas Lucius Vit scored in the 58th minute, and Jackson Oglobelo made sure no questions were asked with his 74th minute strike. You can say what you want about each team's performance this season, but rivalry games like this mean something- Biran Emerson's squad has shown that they continue to assert themselves as the highest class of soccer within that city.

While all eyes were on the derby, the rest of the Super 5 emphatically took care of business as well. Busukuma Athletic Club posted a 4-0 victory over Askatasuna FC, who is really struggling this season, while Istria City FC rode a pair of goals from their center backs to earn victory. Both Maximiliane Purcell and Noah Geteye scored from corner kicks, showing the team's danger in the air. The Hoima Warriors took care of business away from home, winning 2-1 in Dukuma, while Jinja City FC did not hold back against the Busukuma Force, putting up six goals in a 6-1 romp of a victory over the Force. Malachi Gallagher scored, Lin Moon and Deonte Bradley both scored twice, while Daniel Asres had the team's sixth goal. It was Jinja City's most complete performance of the season- a 6-1 dismantling of a side away from home is certainly going to get heads and eyes turned towards your squad.


Askatasuna FC 0–5 Jinja City FC
Rukunbi FC 0–2 Busukuma Force
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Lakiska SC
Mynda Electra 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Bwubanza City SC 0–1 Aissa United FC
Hoima Warriors 0–2 Isipongo Flash
Kitara AA 3–1 Dukuma SC
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Lwanga Lions 0–2 Herzegovina City FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–0 Istria City FC

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 3
Crisisbless(NPH) 4-0 Herzegovina City FC


And, of course, the UICA Champions Cup is back! This time, Herzegovina City FC ended up paying a visit to Crisisbless, the Nepharim squad who finished third last season. Crisisbless and Eastweald, both big teams from big leagues, were heavy favorites to advance from this group over Herzegovina City and San Marco Storm, and they certainly didn't disappoint. The first half was a battle, where Crisisbless did everything they could to frustrate Herzegovina City FC. No space for players like Aaron Aiza or Jackson Oglobelo to exploit in the attack. In the second half, they turned it up a notch, showing the talent gap, and put four past Delbin Kasekende to clinch the big time victory at home. Airik Ruhl scored twice, while Marisha Staunton and Galactico nominee Sieglinde Lohengrin each scored once for the home side. Not a good result, but once again, considering the ground the BSL has to make up, not much of a surprise.

An incredible feat that Herzegovina City FC is at that point at all. And now, of course, let's go back to the league. Herzegovina City FC continued their momentum from last week against the Phoenix, that could've been lost due to their game against Crisisbless, and won, 2-0, away from home against the Lwanga Lions. And, of course, speaking of the Phoenix, they recovered from that loss by winning 2-0 at home against Umbazi Metropolitan Soccer Club, showing that the previous week's performance against Herzegovina City FC was more of a one-off. Jinja City FC continued their sizzling form from last weekend, once again winning by 5 goals, this time 5-0 away from home over Askatasuna FC. The offense has truly caught fire, as Lin Moon is on fire, Deonte Bradley is on fire, and it seems as if Malachi Gallagher has finally found his groove with Jinja City FC.

There were two, big time results, however, from the weekend that we haven't talked about. The first, was a surprising Hoima Warriors home loss, falling 2-0 to the Isipongo Flash on their home field. Noah Lamont HIll hit the back of the net twice for the visiting side, as the Hoima Warriors could not figure it out. The strike pair, Derick Mason and Andrey Soltykov, simply do not have the chemistry up top. We'll probably see a change there? That said, the biggest game this weekend was Istria City's visit to Busukuma AC. The capitol side was gritty and determined, and Baker Park striker Alex Sandoval headed home a cross from Alanso Tamba in the 82nd minute, which was the difference. Another big win for the capitol side, who is still the only Super 5 side to not win a Banijan Soccer League title.

Istria City FC 2–0 Askatasuna FC
Herzegovina City FC 1–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–0 Lwanga Lions
Dukuma SC 1–2 Herzegovina Phoenix
Isipongo Flash 0–2 Kitara AA
Aissa United FC 0–3 Hoima Warriors
Busembe Timberwolves 1–1 Bwubanza City SC
Lakiska SC 0–0 Mynda Electra
Busukuma Force 0–0 Bunyoro RSC

Jinja City FC 3–0 Rukunbi FC


Busukuma Athletic Club had yet another big game this weekend, following their matchup with Istria City FC with a visit to the home of the defending champs- Herzegovina City FC. The two teams battled extremely hard. Busukuma AC scored the opener, when Ansu Cisse, the Banijan international, scored on a free kick in the 13th minute. Girma Asmelash responded with a 37th minute curler, and the game was tied headed into halftime. In the second half, however, Ferran Rey's squad really turned up the heat on the hosts. They dominated the possesion and sent men forward, something you don't often see against a team that can counter as well as Herzegovina City FC can. However, the sustained pressure paid off, when Graven Braehead struck in the 87th minute to send the visiting fan section into ecstasy, and give them another big win. A large step, of course, as these types of big games are the ones that Busukuma AC usually struggle in.

Across the rest of the league, the rest of the Super 5 took care of business against lesser opponents. The Hoima Warriors won 3-0 on the road against AIssa United FC, while Istria City FC won 2-0 at home against Askatasuna FC. And finally, Jinja City FC continued their run of great form, as they followed their two massive road victories with yet another win, a 3-0 home victory over Rukunbi FC. Even the Phoenix won, winning 2-1 in Dukuma. It was, of course, a weekend of favorites- besides Busukuma AC's trip to Herzegovina City FC, where they clinched maximum points.

Askatasuna FC 2–2 Rukunbi FC
Bunyoro RSC 0–1 Jinja City FC
Mynda Electra 1–1 Busukuma Force
Bwubanza City SC 1–1 Lakiska SC

Hoima Warriors 1–2 Busembe Timberwolves
Kitara AA 2–0 Aissa United FC
Herzegovina Phoenix 1–2 Isipongo Flash
Lwanga Lions 2–3 Dukuma SC
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Istria City FC 0–1 Herzegovina City FC

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 3
Herzegovina City FC 1-2 Iskara Daii


And another midweek game! This time, Herzegovina City FC took a flight to Starblaydia, where they visited the champions of Starblaydia, Iskara Daii. A league that the Banijan Soccer League is gunning for, it was always going to be a tough matchup for the defending BSL champs. Herzegovina City FC actually scored the opener, with Aaron Aiza striking in the 12th minute in front of his home fans. However, Iskara Daii scored in the 34th and 57th minutes of the game, both on corner kicks. It was a tough pill to swallow, as Herzegovina City FC played well for the remainder of the game's proceedings, but unfortunately, they were not able to break down the Iskara Daii defense as they lost at home, by a score of 2-1.

Back to the league! Jinja City FC continued their sizzling form, notching their 9th league victory in a row with a 1-0 away victory over Bunyoro RSC. Ironically, Jinja City FC opened the season with a pair of 1-0 losses, to Istria City FC and Herzegovina City FC, respectively. And then, on Matchday 3, they drew with Umbazi Metropolitan SC- but since then, they've never looked back, winning 9 consecutive games in the league since that draw. Lin Moon is on fire, Daniel Asres and Sia Fall are playing well, and Alexander Bumba looks like he has his boys ready to play anyone in the country right now, after a rough start to the season. There was a pair of major upsets on this matchday as well, as both the Hoima Warriors and Herzegovina Phoenix fell, at home, by scores of 2-1, against the Busembe Timberwolves and Isipongo Flash, respectively. Not a good day for bettors, in that aspect.

Busukuma Athletic Club, once again, took care of business, with an important 1-0 win over Umbazi Metropolitan SC. The game of the day, however, was Istria City FC hosting Herzegovina City FC. The Season 5 champs battled the Season 6 champs, but, unfortunately for the hosts, Herzegovina City FC got the better of their opponents on this matchday, as Natanians & Nosts attacking midfielder Lucas Lucius Vit scored from distance in the nightcap. The two teams are also burgeoning rivals, reprising a sporting rivalry's between the two biggest cities in the Northwest, most famously known for the North v. South rivalry between the two city's schools, Northern Moravica in Herzegovina City, and Loyola-Istria in Istria, in Southern Moravica. And with these two squads competing for titles, this is certainly not a rivalry that you want to sleep on.

Herzegovina City FC 6–0 Askatasuna FC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–3 Istria City FC
Dukuma SC 0–4 Busukuma Athletic Club
Isipongo Flash 4–2 Lwanga Lions
Aissa United FC 1–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Busembe Timberwolves 0–1 Kitara AA
Lakiska SC 0–2 Hoima Warriors
Busukuma Force 0–1 Bwubanza City SC
Jinja City FC 1–0 Mynda Electra
Rukunbi FC 0–2 Bunyoro RSC


Busukuma Athletic Club is quietly, yet surely, also on a roll. On this matchday, they had their fifth straight victory in the league and sixth consecutive victory in all competitions, winning 4-0 in their trip to Dukuma. And Jinja City FC won their 10th league match in a row, winning 1-0 at home over Mynda Electra. Both teams are hitting their groove right now- and it's reflected in the table. The team's are passing the ball well, they are playing suffocating defense, and most importantly, they are finishing in front of net. While Lin Moon is being prolific in front of net for Jinja City FC, as he generally always is, Alex Sandoval is having quite a nice debut season for the capitol side as well. Right now, these are the two best teams in the Banijan Soccer League, and they figure both to be in the thick of things when it comes to finally earning that trophy.

Beyond those two, of course, it was a great weekend for the Super 5 clubs. For the first team all season, we believe, every single member of the Super 5 won. Besides the two aforementioned teams, the Hoima Warriors won, 2-0, against the still winless Lakiska SC, while Istria City FC won 3-0 in Umbazi. Herzegovina City FC, however, had the most impressive weekend, a weekend without many, if any, big games, as they won 6-0 over Askatasuna FC, who seems to just be a punching bag at this point. The only upset of the weekend was for the Herzegovina Phoenix, where they fell by a score of 1-0 to Aissa United FC. Aissa United FC has been a nice surprise this season- finishing in dead last in Season 6, they've already matched their Season 6 win total- 6 victories- in just 13 matchdays. Credit to the management for keeping their faith in Gregory Banis, when many would have fired him for the last place finish.

Askatasuna FC 0–2 Bunyoro RSC
Mynda Electra 1–2 Rukunbi FC
Bwubanza City SC 1–2 Jinja City FC
Hoima Warriors 3–0 Busukuma Force
Kitara AA 2–0 Lakiska SC
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–3 Busembe Timberwolves
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Aissa United FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 3–2 Isipongo Flash
Istria City FC 4–0 Dukuma SC
Herzegovina City FC 2–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 4
Herzegovina City FC 1-1 Crisisbless(NPH)


And back to the UICA Champions Cup! Herzegovina City FC, at home, wanted to impress their fans, and they came out firing against Crisisbless. Ennis Leishman, the central striker for Herzegovina City FC, turned a near post cross from Aaron Aiza brilliantly towards goal, and it was too much for the keeper to deal with. And the alerts started popping up on smartphones all across the multiverse- Herzegovina City FC, making their maiden appearance in the Champions Cup group stage, were leading against a Nepharim Premiership squad. That would have to be one of the upsets of the tournament, if they could hold. Herzegovina City FC packed it in tightly, and for the majority of the game, they withstood the pressure. However, in the 85th minute, Jevdjevic-Hadsic hit the post, and Johanna Sutton was there for the rebound, converting and ensuring that Crisisbless took home a point. Still, the defending BSL champs took a large round of applause, as they were able to hold a team of this quality, from the world's highest ranked league, to a draw- especially since they just got blown out by the same squad only a few weeks ago. Once again, a job well done by Brian Emerson, the manager.

Busukuma Athletic Club and Jinja City FC are on winning streaks in the league- and this week was no different. Jinja City FC showcased their talent in a 2-1 victory over Bwubanza City SC, while Busukuma Athletic Club won a thriller, 3-2, at home against the Isipongo Flash. That game had everything, with Noah Lamont Hill scoring from distance, Flash goalkeeper Jumu Sanneh saving a penalty taken by Lin Moon, and the crowd was rowdy and heavily involved. However, in stoppage time, the capitol side separated themselves, and showed why they are considered part of the Super 5, while the Flash are not. Defender Celty O'Mercury scored his first goal for Busukuma Athletic Club, as he headed home a cross in the 91st minute to give the hosts a 3-2 victory. Ferran Rey, of course, was all smiles after this victory.

It was another great day for the Super 5- all of its members won again. The Hoima Warriors defeated the Busukuma Force by a score of 3-0, while Herzegovina City FC won 2-1 at home. And, of course, we cannot forget about Istria City FC, who won 4-0 over Dukuma SC, who is struggling badly. It was another poor weekend for the Herzegovina Phoenix, in which they failed to keep pace and lost yet again, falling at home by a score of 3-2 against the Busembe Timberwolves. It might be a rough funk, we may not know what it is, but Mark Grayson certainly will not be happy with those results, as he tries to lead this team to break into the Super 5.

Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–0 Askatasuna FC
Dukuma SC 0–2 Herzegovina City FC
Isipongo Flash 1–0 Istria City FC
Aissa United FC 0–1 Busukuma Athletic Club
Busembe Timberwolves 0–1 Lwanga Lions
Lakiska SC 1–1 Herzegovina Phoenix
Busukuma Force 0–2 Kitara AA
Jinja City FC 1–0 Hoima Warriors
Rukunbi FC 0–2 Bwubanza City SC
Bunyoro RSC 0–3 Mynda Electra

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 4
Iskara Daii 1-2 Herzegovina City FC


And the regional competition reached it's fourth matchday! Herzegovina City FC got its first victory of the competition, a 2-1 victory over Iskara Daii. It was an entertaining victory- they were putting up the pressure in the first half, and an early double from Aaron Aiza gave them a 2-0 lead within the game's first half hour. It was always going to be a tough game, but Iskara Daii simply didn't have it in them to come back. They were shell shocked, most likely, by Herzegovina City FC's willingness to go straight after the game, and to try and score plenty of goals. Herzegovina City FC was expected to sit back and try to counter- and they caught Iskara Daii by surprise. They scored once, in the 62nd minute, but could not get an equalizer, as Brian Emerson got a victory in this competition.

Both of the streaking teams got victories today. Busukuma Athletic Club took a trip to Aissa United FC, and in a tough game, they earned a 1-0 victory away from home. It was a tough game, where Baslios Temesgen scored the game's lone goal in the 38th minute, and Aissa striker Kawsu Mboge skied his penalty attempt in the 74th minute. Elsewhere around the league, Herzegovina City FC carried forward momentum from their AOCL victory, and won, 2-0, over Dukuma SC. But there were some upsets on the offering today. The Herzegovina Phoenix, playing the winless Lakiska SC, could only manage a 1-1 draw in Lakiska, as goalkeeper Gersem Markos was caught way off of his line, and was chipped from nearly 40 yards by Kizza Okafor. And, of course, the Flash played the role of giant slayer again, as they won 1-0 over Istria City FC at home.

The game of the week, however, was Jinja City FC hosting the Hoima Warriors. The Super 5 matchup, both teams looking for a win. The Hoima Warriors, who seem to never win Super 5 matchups anymore, dropped yet another to Jinja City FC, falling by a score of 1-0. Jinja City FC, of course, is on fire, but there is something about the Warriors and these big time matchups in recent seasons. They can't seem to perform when the pressure truly starts to build. There are frustrations building within the squad, as Derick Mason and Andrey Soltykov got into a shouting match after the game, which seem to mirror what's going on in the boardroom at this club- which we will get to later within this article.

Askatasuna FC 5–2 Mynda Electra
Bwubanza City SC 0–1 Bunyoro RSC
Hoima Warriors 1–0 Rukunbi FC
Kitara AA 2–4 Jinja City FC
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–1 Busukuma Force
Lwanga Lions 1–0 Lakiska SC
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Istria City FC 5–0 Aissa United FC
Herzegovina City FC 0–3 Isipongo Flash
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 5–0 Dukuma SC


This weekend- this is why we play the games, right? But first, let's look at what was expected. Jinja City FC has won their stunning 13th league game in a row, which we believe might be a record, though we didn't have the ability to check before this article went to print. Regardless, they cannot be stopped in this competition right now. They scored four goals against Kitara Athletic Association, and with the fearsome strike force of Lin Moon and Deonte Bradley, it seems as if this team cannot be stopped. Of course, the last four seasons, they've finished in second place every time, and it seems as if they are doing everything they can to get over that hump and finally bring a trophy back to Jinja City, something they haven't done since Season 1.

Busukuma Athletic Club are also putting together a nice run of their own, winning their 9th consecutive game in all competitions, and their 8th in the league, with a 1-0 win over the Busembe Timberwolves. Ferran Rey has found his sweet spot with this team, and they are doing well against great competition. Elsewhere for the Super 5, Istria City FC put up five goals against Aissa United, while the Warriors grinded out a 1-0 victory at home over Rukunbi FC. Though they are not Super 5, The Phoenix won as well, winning 2-1. The weekend's stunning result, was Herzegovina City FC falling apart entirely against the Isipongo Flash, who should be known as giant slayers at this point. They lost 3-0, dominated at home in a fashion that we not only haven't seen under Brian Emerson, but that we haven't seen probably since Season 2, to be quite honest. It was a shocking result, showing their mortality. Of course, the team has to be worn down, with two weeks of international matches in a row, and they have to be emotionally exhausted, which Brian Emerson said after the game was the reason they came out so flat. Still, he said there was no excuse for the performance, and that they would certainly improve.

Banijan Soccer League Standings after Matchday 16
Banijan Soccer League         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Jinja City FC 16 13 1 2 34 8 +26 40
2 Busukuma Athletic Club 16 13 1 2 28 7 +21 40
3 Herzegovina City FC 16 11 0 5 28 13 +15 33
4 Istria City FC 16 10 2 4 29 9 +20 32
5 Bunyoro RSC 16 9 3 4 18 9 +9 30
6 Herzegovina Phoenix 16 9 2 5 28 17 +11 29
7 Kitara AA 16 9 1 6 22 19 +3 28
8 Isipongo Flash 16 8 3 5 22 16 +6 27
9 Hoima Warriors 16 8 1 7 22 16 +6 25
10 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 16 7 3 6 22 17 +5 24
11 Aissa United FC 16 7 1 8 19 22 −3 22
12 Busembe Timberwolves 16 5 5 6 19 20 −1 20
13 Mynda Electra 16 5 5 6 14 17 −3 20
14 Bwubanza City SC 16 4 5 7 17 27 −10 17
15 Busukuma Force 16 4 4 8 13 24 −11 16
16 Lwanga Lions 16 3 4 9 9 19 −10 13
17 Rukunbi FC 16 4 1 11 13 29 −16 13
18 Askatasuna FC 16 3 2 11 13 38 −25 11
19 Dukuma SC 16 2 3 11 11 35 −24 9
20 Lakiska SC 16 0 5 11 11 30 −19 5


Five Fearless Predictions for the rest of the Season

We printed our over-reactions last week. Now, of course, we come out with our five fearless predictions, as we traditionally do when we reach Matchday 16. We've seen plenty of soccer, now it is time to see into the future.

#1 The Hoima Warriors will finish ahead of Bunyoro RSC when it's all said and done

Bunyoro RSC has been quite a story this season. Bunyoro RSC has started to find life on the soccer field, with new manager Adam Jeffreys leading this team to 30 points after just 16 matches, leaving them just two points out of the UICA. They are a traditional midtable club, but Adam Jeffreys is trying to get them to shed that label. He has the team playing inspired, and has one of the league's top defenses, only allowing 9 goals. On the other hand, the Hoima Warriors have front office turmoil(which, as we said, we will get to) and if you looked up the word underachievers in the dictionary, it would a picture of the Hoima Warriors logo. They play down to their opponents, they can't beat the big ones, and it's been forever since they've been in the UICA.

That said, we think that Jehan Blair is laying down a decent foundation in Hoima this season. While their strike pair clearly cannot work together, they have one of the most talented squads in the league outside of those two. Marbue Owusu is getting attention from the national team, while Wenceslaw, who anchors their defense, has long been known as one of the Banijan Soccer League's premier defenders. As they continue to settle into his system, they will continue to improve, while Bunyoro RSC, after an extremely hot start, will probably have to revert back to the mean of being a midtable side once again. Adam Jeffreys is surely impressing there, but simply put, there is more talent in Hoima than Bunyoro. If Jeffreys can maintain their current form throughout the course of the season, however, expect him to get a number of offers from bigger clubs within the BSL.

#2 Ambros Macris of Lakiska SC will be the first manager fired

This wouldn't be a surprise- with the introduction of promotion/relegation, teams are suddenly getting more urgent at the bottom of the table. Sticking with Gregory Banis has proven to be a good decision for Aissa United FC, as they seem to be firmly in the middle of the pack. Lakiska SC, however, have been with Ambros Macris for eight seasons, and the results have not been pretty, especially this year. The Islander squad is in some serious trouble, with them being the only winless team in the league so far. Nothing is set in stone- it is far easier to climb the bottom of the table than the top of the table, and although they haven't won once this season in any competition, they are only four points behind 19th place Dukuma SC.

Ambros Macris has been at the helm for 8 years- but with their membership in the BSL on the line, don't be surprised if he gets fired in the next week or two. His point earned against the Phoenix seemed to buy him a little bit of time, but if there are bad results in the next couple of weeks, expect him to get the sack. Who could they hire to take his spot? We aren't sure, but Lakiska SC is said to be scouting managerial candidates from both within and outside of the country. The pickings aren't exactly ripe for coaching candidates when you're in midseason, but it's clear that Macris isn't working, and if they feel that keeping him as the manager will guarantee them as the first team in BSL history to get relegated, then they will have no choice but to fire him. We imagine it will be next to impossible to look abroad at this point in time, but Lakiska SC could certainly surprise us.

#3 Randolf Cherry will have to step in to solve the Hoima Warriors ownership situation

The Hoima Warriors have long been known as Banija's most dysfunctional club. Having developed a reputation for firing coaches at the first sign of trouble, they are probably the club with the most financial resources in the entire Banijan Soccer League, bar maybe Herzegovina City FC, but that's only because the defending BSL champs have gotten a huge Champions Cup check for making the group stages of the world's most prestigious club soccer competition. Not only do they do that, the club is known for notorious infighting at the top, with board members publicly sniping each other.

Let's give an overview of the current situation in Hoima. The team is governed by a 9 member Board of Governors. All family members, all the male-line grandsons of the club's founder, Isaiah Dawan. With a unique ownership structure, the club is often paralyzed within its own decision-making, with a supermajority of 6 members required to make a decision. It is no way to run a club, where decisive leadership is probably required to keep up with the other Super 5 clubs. The only thing these guys can seem to agree on, of course, is when to fire a manager- and it seems as if one bad game can get someone fired from this club. That kind of instability is bad for the club's development.

Fortunately for the club's fans, most of the Board of Governors have recognized this, and the family wants to consolidate the club into the hands of one individual, especially at the encouragement of BSL Commissioner Randolf Cherry. However, they all disagree on who should be that member, with each grandson wanting to own the club. However, the one to watch out for is Josiah Lwanga. Lwanga, 51 years old, is the richest member of the group by a longshot, owning shares in the RTC and having numerous investments across Atlantian Oceania. He is being rumored to launch a forced takeover of the club with simple financial might, and each of his fellow governors are keeping an eye on him.

Hoima Warriors are performing beneath expectations this year, of course, hoping for a top four finish and currently in 9th place, behind the likes of Bunyoro RSC, the Isipongo Flash, and Kitara Athletic Association. However, even though they are known best for firing their managers, Jehan Blair is expected to be safe, barring a catastrophic finish- for once, the ownership, instead of aiming their guns at the coach, are watching each other, as what will likely be a high stakes battle within the family for control of what many describe as Banija's second biggest club. It is quite a distraction, of course, when the team's formal leadership is almost at open war with each other, but with the lack of pressure from the top coming onto the team, maybe they can use that to perform.

#4 Askatasuna FC will be the team to get relegated

Chibuzo Afolayan left Askatasuna FC nearly five years ago, and he is now the captain of the national team. However, the club he left has been in a downward spiral ever since he decided to go the greener pastures of the Nepharim Premiership, and become the first, and to date the only, Banijan player to play in the multiverse's top ranked league. They've struggled this season mightily, having a BSL worst goal difference of -25 goals, alongside a league worst 38 goals allowed in just 16 games played.

Now, this is a bold prediction to make- not only is Askatasuna FC six points ahead of Lakiska SC, Lakiska SC hasn't even won a game yet! Well, we believe, here at this magazine, that once Lakiska SC gets their stuff together, that they can improve. They are playing below their talent level, and frankly, they should be better than where they are now. Askatasuna FC, however, has gotten pummeled multiple times this season. We think Dukuma SC will likely do just enough to avoid relegation, and so will Rukunbi FC. But, on paper, Askatasuna FC is the least talented team in the league, and we think that while Lakiska SC will recover, Askatasuna FC won't, and they will complete their free-fall since the sale of Chibuzo Afolayan, all the way down to the regional league system.

#5 The end of the season will be a three horse race for the league title between Jinja City FC, Busukuma AC, and Herzegovina City FC

Of course, they are in the top three spots. Not really a fearless prediction, is it? But look closely- while Jinja City and Busukuma pace the leg at 40 points a piece, Herzegovina City FC is in a seemingly distant second, having earned 33 points over the same time period. But we think that they will work their way back into the title race. While, of course, fatigue is always a factor considering the pair of international competitions that Herzegovina City FC is playing in, and Herzegovina City FC is a team that we have to worry about, considering they just lost 3-0 at home to the Flash. However, we think that loss was more of a fluke loss, rather than a pattern. They are good enough to get right back into the thick of things, and we expect them to do so.

Now, there is Jinja City FC and Busukuma Athletic Club. Both teams are on a tear right now- Jinja City FC has won 13 league games in a row, while Busukuma AC has won 9 games in a row in all competitions. While both have the talent and resource for sustained runs of excellence, keeping up that kind of form over the course of a 38 game season is impossible. These players are men- sometimes they could get sick, sometimes they simply have off days, or maybe their opponent will be on. And when they slip a couple of times, to revert back to the mean, that will leave an opening for Herzegovina City FC. We will have a great, three way title race this season, potentially coming down to the Final Day- but instead of a two way race, which is what it is looking like right now, with 22 games left, we will have three different teams competing to be champions of the Banijan Soccer League.

RBSA Cup Quarterfinalists set as 8 teams get ready to dream


RBSA Cup Round of 16
Isipongo Flash 0–2 Herzegovina City FC
Mynda Electra 4–0 AFC Okahavi
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–0 Rukunbi FC (0–1 AET)
Istria City 3–0 Bwubanza City SC
Herzegovina Phoenix 1–0 Aissa United FC
Nanami Dragons 1–2 Zakuta City
Hoima Warriors 1–1 Corizova United (2–1 AET)
Busukuma Athletic Club 3–0 Busukuma Force


And the Round of 16 has been played! An entertaining set of matches, including a rematch- but let's not waste any time! The first match of the Round of 16 was a rematch, of sorts, of the previous week in the BSL- the Isipongo Flash had just beaten Herzegovina City FC 3-0 in Herzegovina City, and now were home for this match. But in this cup competition, Brian Emerson got his squad to recover, and they won, 2-0, away from home. The Flash crowd was loud, and the team inspired, but the talent difference simply shined brightest on this day. Lucas Lucius Vit scored the opener, in the 52nd minute, and Aaron Aiza buried the game in the 62nd minute, to punch their ticket into the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals.

The second game of the weekend was Mynda Electra playing AFC Okahavi, a regional league side. Mynda Electra, of course, were runner-ups in the RBSA Cup last season, and they are looking to prove that cup run was not a fluke. They dominated AFC Okahavi, not surprisingly considered the gap in divisions, and easily punched their ticket to the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals for the second straight season. And third, of course, Rukunbi FC traveled to Umbazi Metropolitan SC, and won, 1-0, after extra home. The teams were tied for 110 minutes, but a header in the 111th minute by 36 year old captain Dembo Jawara punched the "other" Istria side into the quarterfinals. A nice place to be, considering their struggles in the league.

Elsewhere in the Round of 16, Istria City FC took care of business, dispatching Bwubanza City SC easily with a 3-0 victory at home. At the same time, the Herzegovina Phoenix took care of business at home, winning 1-0 over AIssa United FC to earn their way into the last 8 of this competition. And then Zakuta City, who beat a BSL side last week, went to Nanami and beat the Dragons by a score of 2-1, to become the first regional league side to punch their ticket to the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals.

The pair of Sunday games were big television draws- the Hoima Warriors, of course, hosting Corizova United, was the afternoon game. Corizova United fought like hell against the Super 5 club. The Hoima Warriors scored in the 32nd minute, when Julian Turner put them ahead. And they continued to attack, trying to put away the game. Corizova United, however, was determined. In the second half, they began to counter, and had some near misses. However, in the 82nd minute, they got a deserved equalizer when Okparo Oluchi converted a header to tie the game at 1. And then, of course, they went to extra time. Corizova had opportunities to score, but couldn't convert, and ultimately, in the 118th minute, John Katumba scored to punch their ticket into the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals.

And the last match, the Sunday nightcap, was the Capitol City derby- Busukuma AC vs. the Busukuma Force. Busukuma Athletic Club won their 10th game in a row in all competitions(8 league, 2 RBSA Cup) as they easily dispatched of the Busukuma Force at home, by a score of 3-0. Of course, these rivalry games in cup competition are always compelling- the stakes are raised when the two teams meet in general, and then add in the stakes of a single elimination tournament? But the talent gulf was obvious, and now we have our eight for the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals.

The 8 teams left are going to seriously start to dream in this competition. Four Super 5 teams are left, plus the Herzegovina Phoenix, who have won this competition before. The three real surprises are Mynda Electra, Rukunbi FC, and most of all Zakuta City, who are playing in a regional league. Can one of those teams pull off a massive upset, and make a Cinderella run like the Busembe Timberwolves did last season? You can say what you want about this competition, you cannot deny its drama and entertainment levels, which are bound to show in 8 weeks, when the quarterfinals of this competition is played.
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Postby Banija » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:12 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Part 3

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Dukuma SC 2–0 Askatasuna FC
Isipongo Flash 2–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Aissa United FC 0–5 Herzegovina City FC
Busembe Timberwolves 0–1 Istria City FC
Lakiska SC 0–4 Busukuma Athletic Club
Busukuma Force 1–0 Lwanga Lions
Jinja City FC 0–1 Herzegovina Phoenix
Rukunbi FC 0–0 Kitara AA
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Hoima Warriors
Mynda Electra 2–1 Bwubanza City SC

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 5
San Marco Storm(PCR) 0-1 Herzegovina City FC


And here, of course, we start with a thunderous match in the Champions Cup! The Banijan side, of course, gaining form in this tournament over the course of time, finally earned their first win in the competition proper, winning 1-0 away from home against Sam Marco Storm. Aaron Aiza struck true from the penalty spot in the 27th minute, and that was the difference in the game. Brian Emerson, seemingly surprised at the early lead, implored his team to pack it in tight after they took the lead, and they defended like their lives depended on it. But the game was truly won in the midfield, with Elias Abate and Boimah Ba. Throwing it back to a day when the central midfield pair wasn't 34 and 35, respectively, the two were everywhere- San Marco Storm was harassed all across the middle third of the pitch, and it is why Elias Abate got the man of the match award. The big time win should put Herzegovina City FC in a good enough spot to get to at least the Globe Cup knockout stages.

Then, of course, we get to the weekend. Herzegovina City FC, arriving in Banija on a high after their stunning win in Port Christopher, played with all kinds of confidence and energy, as they brought the game to Aissa United in their own stadium, as the defending champs finished with a 5-0 route. A truly impressive display, as there was five different goalscorers- Aaron Aiza, Jackson Oglobelo, Lucas Lucius Vit, Boimah Ba, and Lazlo Kearney. Beyond that nearly flawless performance, Busukuma Athletic Club won their 11th in a row in all competitions, and 9th in the league, as they downed last place Lakiska SC by a score of 4-0, in Lakiska. Everything is quickly unraveling in Lakiska, but somehow, someway, Ambros Macris has surprised this matchday.

Bunyoro RSC pulled an upset victory, over the Hoima Warriors, winning by a score of 1-0. A quality win for Adam Jeffreys squad, who gave the Warriors yet another loss. And finally, Istria City FC, at the death, won a game on the road, 1-0. In the 93rd minute, Timberwolves defender handled the ball in his own box, giving Istria City FC a penalty. Girma Asmelash, of course, stepped up to take the spot kick. Mercedini U21 goalkeeper Edgar Farsal-Smith saved the penalty, but the rebound went directly to Asmelash, who buried the ball into the bottom corner. But the biggest news is the Saturday night game- Jinja City FC's winning streak is over. They had won 13 league matches in a row, playing impeccable soccer, with the kind of flow and joy that you always want from a championship contender. But Mark Grayson's squad paid them a visit, and came with a plan. Orion Etzebeth truly took the game over- they couldn't service their strike pair, Lin Moon & Deonte Bradley, and Etzebeth scored just his second goal of the season, heading in a corner kick to give his squad a 1-0 away victory over the red hot Jinja City FC.


Askatasuna FC 1–1 Bwubanza City SC
Hoima Warriors 0–2 Mynda Electra
Kitara AA 1–0 Bunyoro RSC
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–0 Rukunbi FC
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Jinja City FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 3–0 Busukuma Force
Istria City FC 2–2 Lakiska SC
Herzegovina City FC 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–1 Aissa United FC
Dukuma SC 2–1 Isipongo Flash

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 5
Herzegovina City FC 0-1 Carter FC(JSY)


And another international club competition game! This time, paying a visit to Carter FC. Carter FC, of course, played Herzegovina City FC in the opening game of the group stages of this regional competition, where they won 3-2 on their home soil. The game was much tighter here in Banija, with more fouls, less space, and less shots- but the result was particularly cruel. Left back Alifa DIawara, chasing down a loose ball, tried to head the ball back to goalkeeper Delbin Kasekende. However, the ball looped over Delbin Kasekende's head, and in the cruelest of fashions, the ball went perfectly into the back of the net. A stunning moment, as those kind of mental errors don't normally happen to this team. Brian Emerson called it 'the unluckiest bounce I've ever seen', and said that the sport 'can certainly be cruel- as we've seen today.' And, of course, that loss has essentially eliminated Herzegovina City FC from finishing top two in the group.

Back to the league, shall we? Busukuma Athletic Club continued their winning ways, taking their winning streak to 10 in the league and 12 overall, by dominating their archrivals, the Busukuma Force, in the Capitol City derby. This derby was hashed just a couple of weeks ago, at the same place, in the RBSA Cup- and nothing changed. A 3-0 win at home for Busukuma Athletic Club- comfortable, dominant, and it shows the real gulf in talent between the two capitol sides. Elsewhere around the league, Ambros Macris bought himself another week, by earning a point on the road against Istria City FC. Their second of three straight games against Super 5 clubs, they fell behind 2-0 in the first half and the route looked to be on. However, he got his team to pick up and perform, with Ousman Babaja scoring in the 62nd minute and Markos Dalu equalizing in the 73rd minute. Babaja thought he had a winner, too, in the 88th, but he was just a hair offsides. Still, a stunning comeback to get the draw brings forward the obvious question- can Macris keep his job, and stave off relegation? Interestingly enough, there were unconfirmed reports coming out that Lakiska management had made a trip to Qusmo, in possible connection with a coaching search for a job that was not officially open. A tough situation, but when your team is winless and in dead last, things like this will happen.

The Hoima Warriors lost, 2-0, at home to Mynda Electra, a disappointing result for a Warriors squad that, once again, is looking like it will not finish anywhere near the top four- their last top four finish, of course, being all the way back in Season 2, when they won the league. They are firmly midtable right now, and they have been for a number of years- should they really be called a Super 5 club? We'll go into further depth on them, I'm sure, later on in the season, but it has to be frustrating for Hoima fans. The defending champs, Herzegovina City FC, won by a score of 1-0 at home over the Busembe Timberwolves, with Alifa Diawara, having scored the own goal earlier in the week to cost them in the AOCL, assisting on this game's lone goal. The Phoenix had a scoreless draw with Rukunbi FC. And, of course, Jinja City FC got back to their winning ways, defeating the Lwanga Lions by a score of 1-0.

Isipongo Flash 2–0 Askatasuna FC
Aissa United FC 1–0 Dukuma SC
Busembe Timberwolves 2–4 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Lakiska SC 1–8 Herzegovina City FC
Busukuma Force 0–2 Istria City FC
Jinja City FC 0–0 Busukuma Athletic Club
Rukunbi FC 0–1 Lwanga Lions
Bunyoro RSC 1–1 Herzegovina Phoenix
Mynda Electra 0–2 Kitara AA
Bwubanza City SC 0–5 Hoima Warriors


And we are at the halfway point of the season! Everybody has played each other once, and we know that we will have quite an entertaining second half. The game of the week, of course, was the massive Jinja City FC v. Busukuma AC matchup, the top two teams in the league at this point. A pair of red hot teams- Jinja City FC having won 14 of their last 15 league games, while Busukuma AC came into the game riding a 12 game winning streak in all competitions. The game was fierce, and it was back & forth- both managers wanted to win. However, both defenses were watertight, and were always going to hold against the onslaught, knowing what a loss could mean. Busukuma AC's winning streak, of course, came to an end with this scoreless draw, but both managers have to be happy at the result.

Elsewhere around the league- the Hoima Warriors, an on again, off again team right now, turned it on by demolishing Bwubanza City SC. They've got to be the most frustrating team in the league- the talent is there, and has always been there, but they can't put it together every week, ilke Jinja does, like Herzegovina City does, like Busukuma AC does. Still, a quality result on its own. The Herzegovina Phoenix drew, 1-1, at the home of Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club, while Istria City FC won 2-0 away from home against the Busukuma Force. They had their goals from interesting sources- Robel Abeselome scored twice. Once, on a stunning volley from 22 yards in the 38th minute, and the second time, tapping in a rebound in the 82nd minute. Those were his first two goals of the season.

The most important result from this weekend, naturally, is the most eye-popping. Herzegovina City FC went to Lakiska SC, who were finishing their brutal stretch of three consecutive Super 5 matchups, and pounded them by a score of 8-1. Aaron Aiza and Lucas Lucius Vit both had hat tricks, while Ennis Leishmann and Jackson Oglobelo each scored once. This game, however, is going to certainly have some long reaching consequences. Ambros Macris, the Lakiska SC, manager, has a very good relationship with ownership, and is a loyal person. But the results on the field speak for themselves- they are falling fast in the table, and with relegation the biggest possible likelihood, they had to make the change. Losing 8-1 to close out the first half, relegation was far too likely- if they didn't make a move, Lakiska SC was surely moved. Fired, of course, after 7.5 seasons in Lakiska, he might be remembered fondly later on.

And just three days later, of course, they hired their next manager- Winad-Lenpi Xlo, out of Qusmo. Winad-Lenpi was most recently the manager of KF Lilnim in the Qusmo top flight, called the Pug Qusmyra. He is known for his ability to coach a defensive team, as he prefers to line up a back five. We imagine, then, that the midfielders on Lakiska SC will be hanging back just a little bit. KF Lilnim just barely finished in the safety zone in Qusmo, after expecting to be midtable, and therefore, he was fired. Of course, he did advance to the quarterfinals of both Qusmo cup competitions, showing that he can lead his team to victory. This hire makes sense for a number of reasons- for a financially strapped club like Lakiska SC, he was certainly affordable from abroad. And, of course, available. But getting a foreign manager, at least in this league, shows that a team means business, and that will endear management to the fanbase, at least in the short-term. And most importantly, he knows how to navigate a relegation race- having successfully avoided it last season, even if the team was much poorer than they should have been. Lakiska SC will be hoping they struck gold, or the Busoga Islands is in serious danger of being left with only one team in the Banijan Soccer League.

Askatasuna FC 0–2 Hoima Warriors
Bwubanza City SC 1–2 Kitara AA
Mynda Electra 0–4 Herzegovina Phoenix
Bunyoro RSC 0–0 Lwanga Lions
Rukunbi FC 1–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
Jinja City FC 0–1 Istria City FC
Busukuma Force 0–1 Herzegovina City FC
Lakiska SC 0–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Busembe Timberwolves 1–2 Dukuma SC
Aissa United FC 1–0 Isipongo Flash

UICA Champions Cup Group G Matchday 6
Herzegovina City FC 0-1 Eastweald(COS)


And time for the last game of the Champions Cup! The Cosumar champions paid a visit to the Banijan champions, as the two teams battled it out at Star Field. Their first meeting, of course, was a blowout victory for Eastweald, who confirmed their dominance over Herzegovina City FC. The return visit, however, was a much closer affair. However, the gulf in quality between the two teams was still too strong. Brian Emerson did whatever he could to take at least a point against the team from his home nation, but the talent gap was simply too big, as Ishtar Fanaiyan scored the game's lone goal, in the 42nd minute. The day, however, wasn't all that bad- Herzegovina City FC also was assured that they would play more soccer, with a spot in the Round of 32 of the Globe Cup.

Now, back to the league. The Hoima Warriors took care of business away from home, with Marbue Owusu and Julian Turner both finding the back of the net in the team's 2-0 victory. Herzegovina City FC, in their visit to play the lesser club from our nation's capitol, won by a score of 1-0. An early goal in the 8th minute by Lazlo Kearney proved to be the difference, as Brian Emerson had his boys ready for the unique challenge that the Busukuma Force were going to give them. On the day, Busukuma Athletic Club won 2-1 over Rukunbi FC, while the Herzegovina Phoenix took care of business, winning 4-0 in Mynda. The day was also, of course, the debut of Winad-Lenpi on the touchline for Lakiska SC. An encouraging performance, as they were stout in defense and earned a point at home against Umbazi Metropolitan SC. They will need more than that to get out from the hole they find themselves in, but for now, an encouraging start for the fresh face from Qusmo.

The big game of the day, of course, was Jinja City FC against Istria City FC. Istria City FC took the season sweep of their Super 5 rivals, as they won 1-0 in Jinja City. The last time these two teams played, in matchday 1, it was a defender rising up and scoring from a corner kick that was the difference for the club from Banija's largest city. This time, however, it was a more traditional source- Girma Asmelash, the attacking midfielder. He scored in the 32nd minute, and that goal was enough to bury Jinja City FC. It was a frustrating game for the hosts- Lin Moon struck the post twice, while otherwise they simply could not find their way past the tight Istria defense.

Aissa United FC 3–1 Askatasuna FC
Isipongo Flash 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Dukuma SC 0–1 Lakiska SC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–0 Busukuma Force
Herzegovina City FC 0–1 Jinja City FC
Istria City FC 0–2 Rukunbi FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 1–1 Bunyoro RSC
Lwanga Lions 1–2 Mynda Electra
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–0 Bwubanza City SC
Kitara AA 3–4 Hoima Warriors

Atlantian Oceania Champions League Group C Matchday 6
X SC(95X) 3-0 Herzegovina City FC


And finally, a merciful end to Herzegovina City FC's AOCL campaign. It was clear- three competitions at once for half of the season was clearly taking its toll, and that always seemed to be exerted onto the AOCL, where their performances were sluggish, and their tired legs were the most obvious. X SC took advantage of the worn down squad, and won, 3-0, at home, to close out the group. That means Herzegovina City FC finishes its AOCL group stage campaign with 1 win and 5 losses, and, most unfortunately, earning a finish at the cellar of Group C, finishing in dead last. That said, less matches going forward is a good thing for their league campaign, as all of the extra air mileage and ground mileage was clearly taking a toll on the defending champs.

Now, of course, back to the league. Herzegovina City FC had a big game with Jinja City FC. where it was a battle of wits between Brian Emerson and Alexander Bumba, the managers of the two squads. It was Alexander Bumba who would win on this day, as Malachi Gallagher scored the game's lone goal in the 37th minute. It was a good, quality matchup between the two BSL powerhouses, but Jinja City FC had the better of the day. Elsewhere, Busukuma Athletic Club battled to a tough, 1-1 draw with Bunyoro RSC in Bunyoro. The capitol side conceded the opening goal, and they had to chase the game from that point, getting an equalizer but not getting the winner away from home.

Elsewhere, in the Sunday games, the two big squads performed up to expectation- Herzegovina Phoenix earning a comfortable 2-0 win at home over Bwubanza City SC, while the Hoima Warriors won, 4-3, over Kitara Athletic Association. That game was a strange one, to say the least. The Warriorsr had taken a 3-0 lead at halftime of this game- they were an unstoppable machine. But all of a sudden, things were falling apart. Nick Haller scored in the 52nd minute, but Owusu responded in the 57th minute to make it 4-1. However, Nick Haller scored in the 62nd minute and the 78th minute, all of a sudden making the score 4-3. They had a brilliant opportunity to draw level on a free kick, but an effort from Francis Getachew was just over the bar. The Warriors escaped with all three points, but their tails between their legs.

Of course, the Busoga Islands derby happened, with Lakiska SC paying a visit to Dukuma SC, in a game with large implications at the bottom of the table. Lakiska SC earned their first win of the season, in just the second game on the touchline for Winad-Lenpi. He has now breathed hope back into the squad, by, 21 games into the season, finally earning three points. The defense was tight, it was suffocating, and they scored on a devastating counter-attack that not only breathed life back into their campaign, but will be giving their fans hope that they can possibly avoid relegation after all. We imagine, as well, that this will turn heads in Askatasuna- where fans are getting restless and now people are wondering if Lakiska can legitimately climb the table.

Askatasuna FC 0–3 Kitara AA
Hoima Warriors 1–4 Herzegovina Phoenix
Bwubanza City SC 0–0 Lwanga Lions
Mynda Electra 1–0 Busukuma Athletic Club
Bunyoro RSC 0–1 Istria City FC
Rukunbi FC 3–2 Herzegovina City FC
Jinja City FC 1–2 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Busukuma Force 1–0 Dukuma SC
Lakiska SC 1–0 Isipongo Flash
Busembe Timberwolves 1–2 Aissa United FC


Chaos. Absolute chaos. That's the only way to describe the results of this matchday. Four Super 5 clubs falling in the same weekend, just general chaos across the landscape- the carnage both brutal and beautiful at the same time.

Where do we start? Let's go in chronological order, shall we? First, we'll take the visit of the Herzegovina Phoenix to the home of the Hoima Warriors. The Warriors, of course, almost, and probably should have, blown a 4-1 lead last week in Kitara. They came out in the first half of this one like they did in the second half of the last one- extremely flat, way overconfident, and with no energy. The Phoenix took care of them in devastating fashion, with Corvid Alemane scoring twice, while Josef Lawerenz and Amadi Uche each scored once to give the Phoenix a 4-0 lead at halftime. The Phoenix game plan was executed almost flawlessly- the lone Warriors goal was an own goal, with Eba Feleke heading the ball into his own net. Warriors fans showered the home team in boos after the final whistle blew- this is not what a Super 5 club should be doing on its home field.

And that was simply the early game on Saturday, though the Warriors were the first Super 5 club to fall. Busukuma Athletic Club took a trip to Mynda Electra, and fell by a score of 1-0. They came out flat, while Mynda came out fresh and determined. Sarh Sane scored the lone goal for Mynda Electra, as they earned what is a great three points. The carnage was nowhere near done at that point, however, even though Busukuma AC were the league leaders and the second Super 5 club to have fallen. Herzegovina City FC, the defending champs, walked into Rukunbi FC and left, empty-handed, falling 3-2 in a thriller. Aaron Aiza scored the opener in the 23rd minute, though Upanshu Paramartha had responded for Rukunbi in the 37th minute. Upanshu Paramartha scored again in the 58th minute, but an Ennis Leishmann header in the 82nd made it 2-2. However, Amanuel Bsrat scored a stunningly late winner- in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. He sent the crowd into ecstasy, as they celebrated their 3-2 victory over the defending champions.

And still, the carnage was not complete at this point. Jinja City FC, looking to take advantage of the slip ups of all their rivals, played Umbazi Metropolitan SC at home. In what is probably the most shocking result of all, they fell, 2-1, at home in that game. Demetro Laterza, from Juvencus, scored twice for Umbazi Metropolitan SC in the first half, who were able to hold back the onslaught in Jinja. That was it- four of the five Super 5 teams had fallen, and all to non Super 5 clubs. And we didn't even talk about Lakiska SC, who not only won their second game in a row after not winning any all season, but are officially out of the cellar for seemingly the first time all year, now one point ahead of Askatasuna FC in the standings! What was this madness? This is why they play the games, of course. The only Super 5 team to take care of business was Istria City FC, where they won 1-0 over Bunyoro RSC. Still- a stunning weekend that probably wreaked havoc at every sports betting casino in Banija.

Busembe Timberwolves 1–1 Askatasuna FC
Aissa United FC 1–0 Lakiska SC
Isipongo Flash 1–1 Busukuma Force
Dukuma SC 0–0 Jinja City FC

Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–0 Rukunbi FC
Herzegovina City FC 1–1 Bunyoro RSC
Istria City FC 3–0 Mynda Electra
Busukuma Athletic Club 2–0 Bwubanza City SC
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Hoima Warriors
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–0 Kitara AA

UICA Globe Cup Round of 32 First Leg
Herzegovina City FC 0-0 Whitehaven Triumph(CEN)


Ahhh, of course. The return of knockout competition, over the course of two legs. The Round of 32 of the UICA Globe Cup, Herzegovina City FC was paired with Whitehaven Triumph, from Ceni. The Whitehaven Triumph had a long, winding road to this place in the competition. Qualifying into the Champions Cup Preliminary rounds the same stage as Herzegovina City FC did, they were taking the non-champions path. They fell at the first hurdle in that competition, in the second preliminary round of the Champions Cup, and went into the Third Preliminary Round of Globe Cup Qualifiers. They then defeated Tobiasia City FC of Tobiasia, Kempsey United of Northwest Kalactin, and Jungle Strike FC of Vilita, each over the course of two legs, to qualify for the group stage of the UICA Globe Cup. And then, in those group stages, they dominated, winning Group L, earning 15 points out of 18 possible, and now earning a date with Herzegovina City FC.

The game itself was rather boring- there will be everything left to play for in the second leg of this tie. Whitehaven Triumph was content to sit back, feeling as if they could outright win at home. Herzegovina City FC was extremely cautious not to concede an away goal, as that would be quite a hole to try and dig yourself out of. Because of that, most of the game was played in the midfield, there wasn't many shots for either team, and neither goalkeeper was particularly busy. We expect, of course, a much more up tempo second leg, where everything will be on the line.

Now, of course, on to the league. Askatasuna FC stopped some of the bleeding from their four game losing streak with a 1-1 away draw against the Busembe Timberwolves. Of course, they are behind on goal difference- so while after this matchday, they are level on points with Lakiska SC at 13 a piece, Lakiska SC is still ahead on the tiebreaker. Askatasuna FC is in a tight spot- their manager, Protesilaus Soter, announced before the season that he would retire at the end of the season- firing him would certainly put them in an awkward spot. They might have to ride him out and cross their fingers and pray for the best. Of course, the addition of promotion/relegation has now added a new element to the BSL, with the intrigue and drama at the bottom of the table, in addition to what was already there at the top of the table. Lakiska SC went back to "normalcy", falling to Aissa United 1-0 away from home.

But, of course, what's happening at the top of the table? In the four Sunday games, all the favorites took care of business. Istria City FC traveled to Mynda Electra, and walked out with a relatively easy 3-0 win. The gap in talent, the gap in coaching, was more than enough. The Hoima Warriors too, after getting booed off of their own field by their own fans last week, found a way to reform and recover, winning a tough game, 1-0, in Lwanga. It's not easy to win on the road, and with everything surrounding them, credit to Jehan Blair for not letting his team completely fall apart after three dismal halves of soccer- both halves last week, and the second half the week before. The Phoenix won at home, 2-0, while Busukuma Athletic Club, the league leaders, went back to their winning ways, also winning at home by a score of 2-0.

It was the Saturday games that provided the most drama. Somewhat surprisingly, Dukuma SC was able to hold out against Jinja City FC, and found a way to earn a goalless draw and a point. They are not in the clear from relegation yet- but it'll be games like that, earning a point against quite possibly the BSL's most consistent team, outside of Herzegovina City FC, over the course of the last five seasons, that will ensure Dukuma SC is able to keep its place in the top flight. Also, Herzegovina City FC drew at home, 1-1 with Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club. A big day for Adam Jeffreys, who has not lost yet to Brian Emerson- making him unique among BSL managers that have faced him. Getting some quality performances in against the big clubs is helping his reputation within the country.

Askatasuna FC 1–1 Herzegovina Phoenix
Kitara AA 0–2 Lwanga Lions
Hoima Warriors 2–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
Bwubanza City SC 2–4 Istria City FC
Mynda Electra 0–1 Herzegovina City FC
Bunyoro RSC 0–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Rukunbi FC 0–0 Dukuma SC
Jinja City FC 2–0 Isipongo Flash
Busukuma Force 2–0 Aissa United FC
Lakiska SC 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves

UICA Globe Cup Round of 32 Second Leg
Whitehaven Triumph(CEN) 2-1 Herzegovina City FC
Whitehaven Triumph advanced 2-1 on aggregate


And for the second leg of the UICA Globe Cup! The Whitehaven Triumph defeated Herzegovina City FC, by a score of 2-1. The Triumph scored early in the game, scoring in the 7th minute to give them control of both the match and the tie. When you score that early in the second leg, everyone knows that the second goal is probably the crucial one- and both teams want it. Herzegovina City FC did not want to expose themselves, but as time went on, they had to release more and more men forward. Elias Abate and Boimah Ba supporting the attacks, even the wing backs moving up the field. if they didn't score, the Triumph would punish them on the counter, and that they did in the 84th minute. Ennis Leishmann pulled one back in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but it was far too late. And like that, Herzegovina City FC's international club competition foray, which led them to play a stunning 20 competitive matches against international competition between the UICA Champions Cup, the AOCL, and the UICA Globe Cup, is finally over. A trying time for Herzegovina City FC, with all that extra running, the traveling Herzegovina City fans gave their team a rousing standing ovation at the final whistle, a glowing endorsement of everything accomplished, from their first Champions Cup group stage appearance, to their first UICA knockout appearance, it is a season that Herzegovina City fans will remember for a long time. Even Brian Emerson reflected on this in his post match press conference, saying that their accomplishments should be 'cherished', though, of course, the team would work to build on them in the coming summers.

Now, of course, let's take a look at the league results. In Friday's game, Askatasuna FC managed to get yet another draw, finally bringing them back ahead of Lakiska SC in the league standings- a position confirmed when Lakiska SC fell at home, 1-0, to the Busembe Timberwolves. Will the 72 year old retiring manager, Protesilaus Soter, who has never been part of a promotion/relegation battle, be able to stave off relegation for this once proud club? We'll have to wait and see. Elsewhere, Herzegovina City FC paid a visit to Mynda Electra and walked out with a 1-0 victory, a big win for the defending champs. Istria City FC won a high scoring game away from home, winning by a score of 4-2 against their opponents. Jinja City FC also took care of business, winning 2-0, at home, over the Isipongo Flash.

The big game of the weekend, however, was the Hoima Warriors hosting Busukuma Athletic Club. The two teams battled hard, but they split the spoils- Marbue Owusu's two second half strikes cancelling out Alex Sandoval's pair of second half strikes. And that leaves us in an interesting place in the league. With 24 games gone, the table is beginning to take shape, as the good teams have seperated themselves. There are five temas left with legitimate title aspirations, as there is only an 8 point gap between first place Busukuma AC, who have 55 points, and fifth place Herzegovina Phoenix, who have 47 points. Jinja City FC and Istria City FC both have 51 points, and are in second and third place, while Herzegovina City FC, who have 49 points, are in fourth place, but are battle tested after playing in all that international cup play and, now able to rest midweek, should be gearing up for a run at another title.

It will be a crazy finish- all five of those teams are talented enough to win the league- and each faces their own set of challenges. Busukuma AC, of course, have never won it before- so there's a unique sort of pressure there. Jinja City FC finished in second place four years in a row, and are dogged by questions that they don't have the "It" factor to get back to the summit of Banijan soccer. Istria City FC won the league just a couple of seasons ago, but have very little international influence, with 8 starters who are Banijan nationals, and 1 who is Busogan. Does that hinder them? And, of course, Herzegovina Phoenix are gatecrashing the party- not a member of the Super 5, they shouldn't be there to begin with, but they're making a serious challenge for silverware, with these new signings, Orion Etzebeth, Josef Lawerenz, and Corvid Alemane, working wonders for the squad.

And, of course, now we must look at the bottom of the table- who will be the sole team relegated? That is a serious question. Lakiska is in the cellar, at 13 points, and Askatasuna FC is only one point ahead of them. Bwubanza City SC has 19 points, while Dukuma SC have 20- they should have safe, but who knows? It'll be an entertaining race at the bottom as well, and if teams slip, expect more teams to be thinking of taking a bold move, like Lakiska SC did, and firing their manager midseason to attempt to save their spot in the Banijan Soccer League.

Banijan Soccer League Standings after Matchday 24
Banijan Soccer League          Pld   W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Busukuma Athletic Club 24 17 4 3 42 12 +30 55
2 Istria City FC 24 16 3 5 43 15 +28 51
3 Jinja City FC 24 16 3 5 39 12 +27 51
4 Herzegovina City FC 24 16 1 7 47 19 +28 49
5 Herzegovina Phoenix 24 14 5 5 43 20 +23 47
6 Kitara AA 24 13 2 9 33 28 +5 41
7 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 24 12 4 8 32 23 +9 40
8 Aissa United FC 24 13 1 10 28 31 −3 40
9 Hoima Warriors 24 12 2 10 37 28 +9 38
10 Bunyoro RSC 24 10 7 7 22 15 +7 37
11 Isipongo Flash 24 11 4 9 29 24 +5 37
12 Mynda Electra 24 9 5 10 21 29 −8 32
13 Busukuma Force 24 7 5 12 18 32 −14 26
14 Busembe Timberwolves 24 6 6 12 25 32 −7 24
15 Rukunbi FC 24 6 4 14 19 35 −16 22
16 Lwanga Lions 24 5 6 13 13 24 −11 21
17 Dukuma SC 24 5 5 14 17 40 −23 20
18 Bwubanza City SC 24 4 7 13 22 45 −23 19
19 Askatasuna FC 24 3 5 16 17 53 −36 14
20 Lakiska SC 24 2 7 15 16 46 −30 13


The Five Individuals who will decide the title race this year

We've done our fearless predictions, and we've done our over-reactions... Now, it's time to focus on the individuals. With the hurtling towards what looks to be an exciting climax, we're going to do an overview of the seven men- both managers and players- who will most impact how the title race will finish. We will take a look at one individual from each team still in the title race- Busukuma AC, Istria City FC, Busukuma Athletic Club, Herzegovina City FC, and the Herzegovina Phoenix.

Aaron Aiza- Attacking Midfielder, Herzegovina City FC

The Season 5 MVP and World Cup Quarterfinalist, Aaron Aiza's impact on the Banijan Soccer League since his arrival cannot be overstated. Since entering the league in Season 4, he has been nearly unstoppable. He has numerous accolades with the team- two BSL titles, one RBSA Cup, two Kabaka's Cups, one undefeated season, Season 5 MVP, back to back Silver Boot winner(most assists), and a two-time All-Pro. He has had a massive impact at Herzegovina City FC, and is widely seen as one of, if not the, league's most creative midfielder, and the league's most important player.

He has been recognized for his large impact back in his home country- making the Equestrian World Cup squad and getting playing time both at World Cup 80 and AOCAF LVI, making a siginificant impact against the Banijan national team in both tournaments. The team runs through him- and Brian Emerson is continuing to get the best out of him. When the team decided to sell the previous season's MVP & Golden Boot winner Guillermo Madruga, there was always going to be more responsibility on his shoulders- and he has stepped up to the plate.

As such a key player, he will certainly have a massive impact on how the final fourteen matchdays of this league season will play out. If he is on, if he is playing well, then he will be the cog. Brian Emerson is likely to make major squad changes next season- players like Elias Abate & Boimah Ba, who are 34 and 35, respectively, are possibly on their last legs on the squad. Aiza, on the other hand, is only 28, which means he is in his prime and reaching the height of his powers. He will be a man with tired legs, however, playing in all of those extra matches. If he can stay on, and keep his teammates motivated, his performances will go a long way in determining whether or not Herzegovina City FC can climb back up the table to the summit.

Corvid Alemane- Striker, Herzegovina Phoenix

One of three major signings for the Phoenix, the other two being Orion Etzebeth and Josef Lawerenz, he has fit nicely into the squad constructed by Mark Grayson. Mark Grayson is building a multiyear project to bust open the Super 5, and he made some early progress last season, by surprisingly finished in fourth place, and entering the UICA. Corvid Alemane is challenging for the spot of the BSL's best striker. That was a debate that was had between Lin Moon and Guillermo Madruga for the last couple of seasons, though Madruga's sizzling form last season saw him just ahead of the Chromatik striker.

Corvid Alemane, of Nephara, has taken Guillermo Madruga's spot in this debate. Lin Moon, of course, was originally driven by his drive to climb the pecking order on the Chromatik national team, but while he has appeared in a few qualifiers, he's never been seriously considered to play for them in a major tournament. Alemane is finishing extremely well in front of the net. He combines well with Josef Lawerenz, the young Equestrian winger on the outside, and has a great bond with his countryman Mark Grayson, the team's manager.

Josef Lawerenz has never been involved in a title chase, and beyond him- that is something that hasn't really ever been on the cards for this club before. But just 8 points out with plenty of games to go, the Phoenix have a legitimate shot, with, admittedly, a little bit of luck, of making a serious title challenge. And, of course, they are right in the thick of things for a UICA berth, at the very least. Alemane is well respected across the league, and defenses are planning for him. It will be his ability to step up in big games, however, that will be the difference- there is more attention on the Phoenix now, and subsequently, the pressure is rising. Can he rise to the occasion?

Ferran Rey- manager, Busukuma Athletic Club

A serious candidate for manager of the year, Ferran Rey wants to bring Busukuma Athletic Club their first BSL title. It's only in its seventh season, of course, but think of it like this- Busukuma Athletic Club is the only Super 5 club to never win the league. The Hoima Warriors won it once(Season 2), Jinja City FC won it once(Season 1), Istria City FC won it once(Season 5), while Herzegovina City FC won it three times(Season 3, Season 4, Season 6). It is something that has been a source of frustration for Busukuma AC fans- consistently top four, but never champions. An "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" type of situation.

But Ferran Rey has put out a team that is seriously contending for their first ever title, though they certainly have a lot of work to do. Alex Sandoval, from Baker Park, has fit in nicely. Alanso Tamba is playing well, an ever so young player, while additions like Celty O'Mercury in the back have been big for the squad. They've only allowed 12 goals this season, tied for the league best. While they've been in title races before, they have failed. Can Ferran Rey manage the pressure and bring a trophy to the nation's capitol? The pressure is going to be rising from both the fans and local media, as many see the possibilities here as endless. If he can bring home a title, he will be a hero- but if not, it will be another typical Busukuma AC, of doing just enough to not win the league.

Lin Moon- Striker, Jinja City FC

The Chromatik national has been a massive addition for Jinja City FC since his arrival in the league. Of course, three seasons, three second place finishes- consistency, and solid. He has a number of individual accolades since entering the league- back to back first-team All-Pro, 3rd place in MVP voting in Season 5 and second place in MVP voting in Season 6, as well as the Season 5 Golden Boot winner. He has been trying to break onto the Chromatika national team, but that team is simply too stacked for Lin Moon to make his way to it- he is a fringe national team player, having played for them well in various Qualification campaigns, but never making the final 23 for a major tournament with the AOCAF LV champs.

He is part of the two-headed monster that Alexander Bumba entrusts with getting it done in front of goal. Paired next to Deonte Bradley, he is one half of a strike force that absolutely gets it. They play well with each other, they feed each other nicely, and are unselfish. It is the roster in the BSL with the most foreign players- 9 members of the starting XI are foreign nationals, and yet, the team is a good mix of players. They all buy into Alexander Bumba's message, and though Daniel Asres, is seen as the leader, Lin Moon is the beating heart of this team- if he plays well, the team plays well, and if he doesn't, the team is in trouble in front of goal.

Assefa Yitebarke- Striker, Istria City FC

Assefa Yitebarke has quietly turned into a lethal finisher in front of net, improving each season within the BSL. Of course, he doesn't get much international attention, and we believe that is for two reasons- Toyuwa Okafor is far ahead of him in the national team pecking order, and Yitebarke has expressed no desire to leave Istria City FC, consistently saying that he wants to retire a "one club man". He's fiercely loyal to Erechtheus Condos, the Istria City FC manager, and has consistently said that he is the best manager in the league, though most observers would give that title to Brian Emerson, or even Mark Grayson.

That said, you can't doubt his loyalty and passion playing in Istria. Growing up in rural Moravica, his family was extremely poor- subsistence farmers. He had a great talent, and has remained loyal to the club that gave him the opportunity to chase his dreams and play professionally. That is why he is the heart and soul of this team- and that shows in the stat sheet, in the amount of goals that he scores. He scored 40 goals in the league alone between Season 5 and Season 6, and is having another excellent season this year as well. He is a big striker- not particularly fast, he does a lot of his own damage in the air. If his form dips in front of goal, then the team can really suffer. We'll see if the lone Banijan national on this list can step up and do what it takes to get Istria City FC back to the summit, like they were just two seasons ago when he was a key part of their Season 5 title run.

No home cooking in the RBSA Cup- Visitors go undefeated in the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals

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Herzegovina Phoenix players celebrate their 1-0 win in the Herzegovina Derby in the RBSA Cup


And now, for the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals! This set of matches had some tantilizing matchups- highlighted by two derbies. And with Busukuma AC & the Hoima Warriors both travelling, the quarters seemed ripe for an upset.

Ever since the arrival of Mark Grayson to the Herzegovina Phoenix, the rivalry between Herzegovina City FC has been ratcheted up a notch. Finally, a manager who had a legitimate chance of breaking the Super 5 monopoly on the league's UICA berths, he did so last season, when they finished fourth. Of course, Herzegovina City FC ran away with the title, so they weren't in the title race, but still- they were knocking on the door of the champs. But in their head to head matches, Brian Emerson has had the better of Mark Grayson. In their first meeting, with the Phoenix as hosts, Herzegovina City FC won, 3-1. In their second meeting, with the Phoenix as visitors at Star Field, Herzegovina City FC won the league title in thrilling fashion, 4-3. And in their first meeting this season, in the league, Herzegovina City FC won again, dominating at Star Field by a score of 4-0.

And now, this cup produced another Herzegovina City derby, and the third straight matchup to happen at Star Field, dating back to last season. Mark Grayson, however, was ready. He knew how much this rivalry meant, and how bad Phoenix fans wanted a victory. The team came out defensively- Orion Etzebeth everywhere, with Lucia Silkemark doing much more than normal to drop back and supporting Etzebeth, as wave after wave of Herzegovina City FC attacks came. Brian Emerson's squad frustrations grew as the game went along, and once they went into extra time, the Phoenix were starting to feel it. A devasting counter attack after a corner, where Lawerenz brought the ball almost the length of the field, and crossed it to Alemane for the finish, allowed the small visiting section to celebrate wildly in the 108th minute. And soon after, the final whistle blew- 1-0 to the Phoenix. And, Mark Grayson's first win in this fierce rivalry. A massive step forward, Mark Grayson said after the match that the win shows that "this team can compete with anybody in this country- and we'll show everybody that on the field."

A fun, intense derby, but only one of two derbies in the Moravica region on the day. The Istria derby was also played, with Istria City FC paying a visit to Rukunbi FC. Rukunbi FC fans were really into this match, knowing that a victory would not only mean a victory over their much larger archrivals- but that it would put them into the semifinals of this prestigious tournament. The stakes were high, and the match was intense. However, Istria City FC was able to keep control of the game, and most importantly, keep their heads. Girma Asmelash scored the opener in the 72nd minute, and then Addis Anwar scored the clincher in the 78th minute. Istria City FC, with a tough fought, road victory, was able to punch their own ticket to the semifinals.

The other two games were not nearly as intense or exciting. Zakuta City, of the Northwestern League, hosted the BSL leaders, Busukuma Athletic Club. On paper, they were overmatched- and it showed on the field. That said, there were many compliments of them being the only regional league squad to make the RBSA Cup quarterfinals, and Ferran Rey, the Busukuma manager, had kind words for them. Still, the BSL side won 3-0, and punched their ticket to the semifinal. The Hoima Warriors were the last team to get to the semifinals, winning comfortably, 3-1 away from home over Mynda Electra. That certainly could have been tricky, but they took care of business.

This will be an interesting semifinal draw. None of the four RBSA Cup semifinalists from last season- Aissa United FC, Busembe Timberwolves, Jinja City FC, and Mynda Electra, made the semifinals this season. And instead of three smaller teams and a Super 5 club making it, we have four big time clubs in the semifinals this year- The Warriors, Busukuma AC, and Istria City are all Super 5 clubs, while the Phoenix went to the Globe Cup last year and are right in the thick of the race to go to the UICA Globe Cup for a second straight season. The ratings should be high, and the games should be good- worthy of a semifinal, no matter the matchup. And, of course, with the stakes this high, you never know what could happen- a spot in the final is on the line.

RBSA Cup Quarterfinals
Herzegovina City FC 0–0 Herzegovina Phoenix (0–1 AET)
Mynda Electra 1–3 Hoima Warriors
Zakuta City 0–3 Busukuma Athletic Club
Rukunbi FC 0–2 Istria City
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Postby Banija » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:39 am

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Regional Leagues reach halfway point as contenders for promotion begin to be named

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Duntho Sporting Club players warm up before a match in the Northern League


And the regional leagues are off! They've reached the halfway points of their own seasons- with each league being 12 teams, they play a quadruple round robin, for 44 games in a season. The champions of each league will enter a promotion playoff, where the winner is promoted- and the other three teams who aren't promoted, qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup. This is, of course, the first season where promotion is possible, having been instituted just before the start of Season 7.

Northwestern League

Northwestern League                   Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Suwawa FC 22 13 4 5 37 18 +19 43
2 Corizova United 22 12 6 4 38 18 +20 42
3 Barmos United 22 11 8 3 30 12 +18 41
4 AFC Kosactus 22 10 7 5 23 16 +7 37
5 Jaribga Soccer Club 22 9 8 5 29 20 +9 35
6 Tezirbu Foxes 22 10 4 8 24 15 +9 34
7 Slobochia Bears 22 8 5 9 25 30 −5 29
8 Koszagard City 22 8 3 11 28 28 0 27
9 Eastern Moravica Football Club 22 7 4 11 20 31 −11 25
10 Nezrouch Rovers 22 7 3 12 18 29 −11 24
11 Taramazna United 22 3 6 13 12 39 −27 15
12 Tripoli Foresters 22 3 4 15 13 41 −28 13


Let's start with the Northwestern League! The Corizova exemption was written into the rules- where if a regional league team wins their league three seasons in a row, they will be promoted automatically. And that, of course, applies to Corizova United, who won the Northwestern League back to back, the only regional league team to do so in the last two seasons. The pressure, of course, is on them to take advantage of this exemption, and skip the playoff to go straight into the Banijan Soccer League. And this season, naturally, they have a dogfight on their hands for first place.

Six teams are within three games of 1st place- a stunning number with 22 games left. And even within that number, just 1 point seperates third from second, while another point seperates second from first. Suwawa FC, Corizova United, and Barmos United are in a dogfight to see who will be crowned the champions of the Northwest, with AFC Kosactus, Jaribga Soccer Club, and the Tezirbu Foxes hot on their tails. But why is the race so close? How is each team performing? Let's take a look through how the current top 3 are doing, who have slight, but not unbridgeable, gap at the top.

First, let's look at Suwawa FC. Last season, they signed a new manager from Nuovo Juvencus- one of 6 out of the 48 regional league sides who have a foreign manager. And this season, they recruited Reginius Kunst, the teenage prospect from Cosumar who was on the Dragons Di Bradini Cup roster. They have had an excellent start to the season, even if they have no breathing room. They lead the league in wins, of course, with 13. And that ability to turn a draw into a win, to get those extra points, may be what eventually gets them over the hump to take home that trophy.

Next, of course, there is Corizova United. The two-time defending champs, they entered the season with an immense amount of pressure, and they did well in the RBSA Cup, getting to the Round of 16 before getting knocked out in extra time by the Hoima Warriors. With the pressure reaching its height, however, the two-time defending champs are performing rather well, leading the league in goals scored. Al Iska, the manager, said that they are facing 'more pressure than any other regional league side ever' thanks to the Corizova exception. He says, of course, that it is a challenge that must be overcome- but that immense pressure of automatic promotion will test the mental strength of this team, especially with the exception being named after them in popular culture.

And lastly, of course, there is Barmos United. A talented squad in their own right, Felipe Bergoglio wants to ensure that the team is ready to finally get over the hump and get that title. They are climbing the table- from fifth two seasons ago, all the way to second place last season. And now, they are in an extremely tight race for first place, an extremely tight race for the final spot. They are tight in the back, led by Al Qurijan center back Nassim Samir Nejem, and have only conceded 12 goals this season, the best defense in the Northwestern League. They are certainly capable of winning this league- but as the pressure increases from their own fans, will they be strong enough be the team to overthrow Corizova United's dominance of the Northwest? Only time will tell.

Lower Coastal League

Lower Coastal League                  Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Kabakono City 22 15 6 1 39 15 +24 51
2 Capitol City Football Club 22 14 4 4 36 15 +21 46
3 Zakuta City 22 12 6 4 30 13 +17 42
4 Ogbordu Diamond Football Club 22 10 7 5 32 21 +11 37
5 Baleweye Football Club 22 10 5 7 30 20 +10 35
6 Djoro Athletic 22 9 6 7 18 18 0 33
7 Nsade United 22 9 5 8 17 18 −1 32
8 Kitara Athletic Society 22 6 8 8 16 19 −3 26
9 Kwadama Dojo 22 6 4 12 24 35 −11 22
10 AFC Akwadua 22 5 6 11 18 30 −12 21
11 Dimbogourou Sporting Club 22 3 2 17 11 38 −27 11
12 Mamari City 22 2 3 17 16 45 −29 9


This title race is much less wide open than the Northwestern League. While there were three teams within two points of each other at the top of the Northwestern League, and half the league within three games of the leaders, it is a different story in this league. There are only three teams within 9 points of the league leaders, and even within that, teams are creating separation.

Kabakono City won the league last season, and are attempting to do the same thing to win the league, once again, this season. The strike pair up top is performing, and they are the reason for the team's success. Alan Bettles, in his fourth season, is 60 years old- the manager is in another title race, but ironically, his name has come up in terms of another job, that technically, isn't even vacant- the job in Askatasuna, which is a team that is in the midst of a heavy relegation battle in the Banijan Soccer League. A tough choice for him though- Kabakono City, with their lead so far, if Corizova doesn't win the Northwestern League, may have a better chance of playing in the BSL next season than Kabakono does. A tough choice- though of course, not one he's had to make yet.

Capitol City FC are on a new manager, with 44 year old Akhona Joyi in his debut season as the head guy in charge. They seem to have picked up from where they left off- firmly chasing the title. They are having an excellent season in their own right, but they are, once again, five points off of the incredible pace being set by Kabakono City, who are the defending champions. Joyi has not changed much from longtime manager and still owner Alexander Berry, as he won't fix what's not broken. Incredibly, Sarjo Ceesay, their longtime outside midfielder, is still playing and in the starting XI at the incredible age of 45- though, he said he will retire at the end of the season. He wants to go out, of course, as a champion- but will he have the opportunity to do so? That is the question of the day.

And as for Zakuta City. They were the standard bearer for the regional leagues at-large in the RBSA Cup, when they were the only team to make the quarterfinals of the tournament. Winning four games in the tournament, including defeating the Lwanga Lions by 1-0 at home, they finally fell when they met up with the class of the Banijan Soccer League, the leaders, Busukuma AC. An incredible run- though the same form hasn't translated over to league play. Don't get me wrong, they've had a fine season, 42 points through 22 games is nothing to sneeze at. However, they are 9 points off of the trailblazing pace set by Kabakono City, and they likely won't be able to catch either of the bigger clubs in front of them. Still, an excellent season- a lot to be proud of.

Northern League

Northern League                       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Duntho Sporting Club 22 15 4 3 39 9 +30 49
2 Igulu City FC 22 14 5 3 34 15 +19 47
3 Cerenus United 22 12 6 4 29 13 +16 42
4 Garixas City 22 12 4 6 34 19 +15 40
5 Okakameb City 22 11 5 6 34 26 +8 38
6 Luguyala Patriots 22 10 5 7 28 25 +3 35
7 Koksho City 22 7 7 8 27 26 +1 28
8 Nanami Dragons 22 5 11 6 21 18 +3 26
9 AFC Okahavi 22 6 5 11 29 40 −11 23
10 Gadive City 22 2 7 13 8 29 −21 13
11 Selekawe Knights 22 3 4 15 18 50 −32 13
12 Thayaferu United 22 2 3 17 11 42 −31 9


And now, for the Northern League! A little more competitiveness, but ultimately, there are two teams making serious title challenges- Duntho Sporting Club, who have 49 points and are in first place, and just two points behind them, Igulu City FC. It is an interesting race, with the expected presence of Igulu City FC, who are the defending champs, but perhaps the rather surprising presence of Duntho Sporting Club.

Duntho Sporting Club got sixth two seasons ago, but last season, in a stunning turn of events where five teams were mathematically capable of winning the title entering the final day, Duntho Sporting Club ended up finishing in third place, costing themselves on the final day of the season. Their visit to Luguyala was self spoiled, as a crucial own goal ensured that they would only get a point in this 1-1 draw, and clinch the fact that they wouldn't win the league title. A crushing way, of course, to lose at the end of the season- but they've clearly turned that into motivation.

An excellent start to the season is seeing them blow last season's pace out of the water. Whereas last season, at this point, they only had 34 points, this season they have 49- matching their scorching finish to the league last season, when they had 49 points in the second half to climb all the way back up the table, to title contention on the season's final day. This is, of course, the final season of Mitiku Fassilidas at the club- what would be the reaction if he were to go out on top, the champion of the Northern League? And, of course, he is the senior manager in all of Banija, in his fifteenth season at Duntho Sporting Club- it would be an incredible story.

And, of course, the defending champs are right back in the thick of things, just 2 points behind Duntho Sporting Club. Igulu City FC have a talented team- managed by former national team player Abraham Akampurira. They have shown they are capable, by winning the crazy title race last season, and they are showing that they are capable of doing so once again. They have been a lot less statistically impressive than Duntho- Duntho's goal differnce is +30, while Igulu's is "only" +19. That said, they are only two points behind, and like we've mentioned- they've won a close race before. We'll see which team- the one with the young, upstart manager, or the one with a manager earning a trophy while singing his swan song.

The Northern League, it should be said, is known as the weakest of the four regional leagues- in the last two seasons, when there was no promotion/relegation and there had to be a four team playoff between the regional champs to determine the three Serie B Champions Cup participants, the Northern League champion did not get promoted either year. Cerenus United falling to Corizova United on penalties, 8-7, two seasons ago, or Igulu City FC falling 4-2 on penalties last season, fate has been cruel, but it has been final. While with the reforms to how those spots work for the regional league sides, that streak will likely end by default- but imagining a Northern League champ winning a promotion playoff seems far-fetched to the point of absurdity.

Of course, if you would've told me last season that the BSL would embrace promotion/relegation, I would've called you crazy- and yet, here we are.

Southern League

Southern League                       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Sororo City 22 16 3 3 46 16 +30 51
2 Hawabark Boulders 22 15 3 4 34 14 +20 48
3 Busemlu Park SC 22 12 4 6 31 18 +13 40
4 Dodoma City SC 22 11 4 7 30 20 +10 37
5 Pumbasa Bears 22 9 8 5 29 22 +7 35
6 Umbazi FA 22 9 7 6 38 25 +13 34
7 Abomfa United 22 9 7 6 16 22 −6 34
8 Mukegara Warriors 22 8 3 11 21 29 −8 27
9 Boufaya Ravens 22 6 6 10 23 23 0 24
10 Amaku City FC 22 5 5 12 16 34 −18 20
11 Byakado City 22 2 3 17 11 44 −33 9
12 Kigagana Mountaineers 22 1 5 16 13 41 −28 8


And this, is not only technically- this is most certainly a two-horse race. Sororo City and the Hawabark Boulders, the champions of last season and the season prior, respectively, are dominating this league. There is an 8 point gap between third place Busemlu Park SC and second place Hawabark Boulders, so we'll focus on which one of these prior champions has the best chance of winning the league.

Sororo City is on fire at the top- scoring a stunning 46 goals through the halfway point of the regional league side. The next highest scoring team, in any of the four regional leagues, at this point in the season is 39 goals. Italo Cola, the only regional league foreign manager who is not in the Northwestern League, wants his second straight championship, and understands that the object of the game is to score more points than the other team. Mus'ad Asad Abdulrashid is really coming into his own on the left, creating chances for those up top, and the squad cannot be stopped right now.

Sororo City does not have the greatest defense- the fact that they've allowed so few goals is more thanks to their high amount of possession and great midfield, as opposed to a stout back line. So the team can be exposed- but only if you stop the only team in Banija, at any level, that is averaging over 2 goals per game. They will be chasing their second straight league championship with that high-powered offense. Can they do it?

The team that stands in their way is the Hawabark Boulders, who won the league two seasons ago. They have the league's best defense, and with Giovanni Falco of the Equestrian States in net, they are absolutely stout in the back. They have an extremely young center back pair- one is 21, while the other is just 18. However, they are flanked by veterans, a 33 year old and a 34 year old wing back. A good mixture of experience is keeping teams out of the net. They will be who the big wigs are rooting for to win this league, as though their style is less attractive, they would prefer the 18,000 Olympic Stadium to be a potential BSL member, rather than a 10,300 seater Sororo City Park. The regional leagues, with four legitimate title races and the first ever chance at promotion, are getting their highest ratings within the country in years, as fans try to predict who will make the playoff, and who will not.

Corizova United's second Serie B Champions Cup appearance ends as the first did- in the cellar

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Corizova United fans before matchday 1 of the Serie B Champions Cup


CORIZOVA- This was an interesting campaign for Corizova United, this time around. Last time around, Corizova United finished in the basement of Group A, earning only three points in their group stage campaign. This time around, much changed, but much was the same. They were the only team in the group stages of last season's Serie B Champions Cup to go to the group stages of this seasons Serie B Champions Cup- due to the fact that most foreign leagues with a second division, of course, have promotion/relegation- so those teams would be in the top flight. This was, of course, part of the reason some teams voted for the addition of promotion/relegation, and a major reason why the Corizova exemption was written.

Corizova United, once again, was entered into group A. This time around, their opponents were the Flint Ridge Eagles of New Gelderland, Momentum City Centre of Ceni, and Wirr Tsi of Chromatika. Al Iska made it a point of emphasis to improve in the competition- saying that they were holding the standard of Banija, of the Northwestern League, and of the regional leagues in general. And they did earn their place in the group stages, winning in the playoff. However, the results on the field were not favorable to a team that already came into the group as the favorites to finish bottom, due to their association ranking.

On matchday 1, they hosted Momentum City Centre of Ceni. They ended up drawing 2-2 on the day at River Corizova Stadium. The game was intense, and the teams were well matched. MCC opened the scoring in the 14th, but it was Bubacar Senghore who equalized in front of a thunderous home crowd in this international competition in the 38th minute. Senghore headed a second home to give his team the lead in the 59th minute, but MCC equalized in the 72nd minute for a well earned, 2-2 draw. A solid result, the team went with some confidence on matchday 2 to New Gelderland to face the Flint Ridge Eagles- and got annihilated, losing 5-1. Dominated in every aspect of the game.

And then, the middle stretch game for Al Iska's squad. This would mean back to back games against Wirr Tsi of Chromatika, with Corizova hosting the first one. Wirr Tsi packed it in tightly, and played to defend. Corizova went after the game, and had a lot of possesion- though few quality chances. Wirr Tsi killed them on the counter, opening in the 62nd, and scoring a couple of minutes later in the 66th, to take an early 2-0 lead. Corizova could only claw one back, but they felt as if the result didn't reflect the scoresheet. And they came out firing in Chromatika. Some creativity from the players in the lineup allowed them to score first, and they had a stranglehold on the match, winning 3-1 in Chromatika. Their first Serie B Champions Cup group stage win, they were, of course, right in the thick of things.

And so then, the last two games of the group came. On Matchday 5, Corizova United went to Ceni, to play Momentum City Centre. They battled it out to another draw- but this was nothing like the one at River Corizova. While the one in Corizova was fast paced, back and forth, this game was almost at a snail's pace- slow, neither team creating much, neither goalkeeper having much work to do. IT deserved to be 0-0. And on the final matchday, Corizova hosted Flint Ridge Eagles. The Flint Ridge Eagles and Wirr Tsi had both already punched their tickets to the knockout stages, both having 9 points at this point, while Corizova and MCC both had 5. It was all about pride and points on this final matchday.

Corizova had a decent finish to the campaign, drawing 1-1 with the team that had put up five goals on them before. The Flint Ridge Eagles won the group with 10 points, Wirr Tsi finished second with 9, Momentum City Centre finished 3rd with 8, and Corizova United finished in last, again, with 6. With that, however, Corizova United's campaign was over- another year in the Serie B Champions Cup group stage, and yet, another year in the cellar of the group. However, all in all, a good campaign, as they had to earn their way to this spot once again. These results will burnish Al Iska's reputation within Banija- if Corizova United do not get promoted, we will imagine he will have his fair share of suitors in the Banijan Soccer League, as he has a consistent record of success now both in domestic and international club competition.

Serie B Champions Cup Group A Scores
Matchday 1: Corizova United 2-2 Momentum City Centre(CEN)
Matchday 2: Flint Ride Eagles(NGD) 5-1 Corizova United
Matchday 3: Corizova United 1-2 Wirr Tsi(CMT)
Matchday 4: Wirr Tsi(CMT) 1-3 Corizova United
Matchday 5: Momentum City Centre(CEN) 0-0 Corizova United
Matchday 6: Corizova United 1-1 Flint Ridge Eagles(NGD)
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Postby Banija » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:55 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Part 4

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Lakiska SC 1–0 Askatasuna FC
Busembe Timberwolves 0–1 Busukuma Force
Aissa United FC 1–0 Jinja City FC
Isipongo Flash 0–1 Rukunbi FC
Dukuma SC 0–1 Bunyoro RSC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 2–2 Mynda Electra
Herzegovina City FC 2–0 Bwubanza City SC
Istria City FC 0–3 Hoima Warriors
Busukuma Athletic Club 2–1 Kitara AA
Lwanga Lions 2–1 Herzegovina Phoenix


The Friday night game was a big one, at the bottom of the table. Coming into the week- Askatasuna FC had 14 points and was in 19th place, and Lakiska SC had 13 points, and was in 20th place, in the final relegation spot. The winner would have a big advantage in the overall picture- the winner, naturally, would be in a position to take a big step forward in avoiding relegation. Lakiska & Askatasuna's battle was fierce. It was rough, a lot of fouls, a lot of arguments. However, on a corner kick in the 76th minute, Gabriel Braga, a Lakiska center back, rose up to head the ball, and smashed it into the back of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Lakiska SC held on, and that was their third victory of Winad-Lenpi's short tenure on the South Island. And, once again, they were out of the cellar.

Naturally, throughout the weekend, there was a pair of a couple of pretty big upsets. The first, of course, was the Lwanga Lions hosting the Herzegovina Phoenix, and defeating them by a score of 2-1. Samba Singateh, their 19 year old winger, scored once, and so did youngster Xavier Melchoir. The other, was, of course, in the Battle for Hangaza's Soul. Anyone remember two seasons ago, when Aissa United cost Jinja City FC the title by winning in this rivalry game on the season's penultimate weekend? There are too many games to give this matchup that sort of stakes, but once again, Aissa United tripped up their archrivals chasing a championship, as Gregory Banis once again got the better of Alexander Bumba.

Herzegovina City FC did what they were supposed to do, defeating Bwubanza City SC 2-0 at home. Jackson Oglobelo was responsible for both goals in that game. And in the big game of the weekend, Istria City FC hosting the Hoima Warriors, the Warriors surprised everyone, by winning 3-0 away from home. Finally winning a Super 5 matchup for the first time in what feels like forever in the league, Jehan Blair's side were absolutely dominant. Owusu, Turner, and Mason all scored in this game, and Istria City FC, frankly, looked shell shocked that the Warriors would actually come out and perform like this. A pleasant surprise, of course, for their fans, who seem to always lose big game after big game.

Askatasuna FC 2–0 Lwanga Lions
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–3 Busukuma Athletic Club
Kitara AA 2–2 Istria City FC
Hoima Warriors 2–0 Herzegovina City FC
Bwubanza City SC 0–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Mynda Electra 3–3 Dukuma SC
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Isipongo Flash
Rukunbi FC 1–0 Aissa United FC
Jinja City FC 2–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Busukuma Force 1–2 Lakiska SC


This is an odd thing to say- both teams at the bottom of the table, who are trying to avoid relegation, won on this day. Askatasuna FC, once again playing in the Friday game, won 2-0 at home over the Lwanga Lions, while Lakiska SC won their second consecutive game, winning 2-1, even away from home, over the Busukuma Force. It will be an interesting battle- but with both teams gaining points in recent days, it is also widening the relegation battle, as teams like Dukuma and Bwubanza City will need to watch themselves.

What else happened this weekend? Istria City FC played Kitara Athletic Association, and Kitara AA fought hard, at home, and earned a 2-2 draw. Jinja City FC, on the other hand, hosted the Busembe Timberwolves, and won at home, by a score of 2-0. Lin Moon and Clarice Easter, both from Chromatika, scored in the second half to give them the lead, and the win. But, of course, there were a pair of big games this weekend. Firstly, Busukuma Athletic Club made the flight to Herzegovina City, and walloped them, coming out with a 3-0 victory. They are the league leaders and all, but still- 3-0 final scoreline was a bit surprising.

And then, in their second straight Super 5 matchup, the Hoima Warriors were victorious once again. Marbue Owusu scored once and assisted another, as they won 2-0 at home, this time over the defending champions, Herzegovina City FC. The Warriors seem to be hitting their stride within the league, finally winning some big games- think this can carry over into next season? Regardless, these kind of wins make statements, and will help Jehan Blair impress whoever wins the ownership battle going on in the boardroom for control of the club.

Busukuma Force 3–1 Askatasuna FC
Lakiska SC 0–3 Jinja City FC
Busembe Timberwolves 2–1 Rukunbi FC
Aissa United FC 2–3 Bunyoro RSC
Isipongo Flash 2–1 Mynda Electra
Dukuma SC 2–1 Bwubanza City SC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 1–1 Hoima Warriors
Herzegovina City FC 0–1 Kitara AA
Istria City FC 1–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Busukuma Athletic Club 2–1 Lwanga Lions


Jinja City FC took a trip out to Lakiska SC, who has been playing extremely well as of late since they hired Winad-Lenpi. They showed them who is the better club, even though Lakiska SC has all of the momentum. Jinja City FC won in Lakiska, defeating the club from the capitol of the Busoga Islands by a final score of 3-0. Elsewhere among Super 5 clubs,in the Sunday nightcap, Busukuma Athletic Club won by a score of 2-1, at home, against the Lwanga Lions.

There were, however, some other big time results as well. Kitara Athletic Association, after doing well to earn a draw at home last week against Istria City FC, went out to prove it wasn't a fluke, and pulled out a 1-0 away win against Herzegovina City FC, to deliver Brian Emerson's squad their second consecutive loss. Captain Francis Getachew scored on a free kick in the 67th minute, placing it perfectly into the upper corner where Delbin Kasekende didn't have a chance to reach it. A good pair of games for outgoing manager Flip Kollias, who has already announced he will step down from the job at Kitara at the end of the season.

Istria City FC delivered some more bad news to the Herzegovina Phoenix- winning 1-0 at home. In front of a packed house at Kabonero III Field, Girma Asmelash scored the game's lone goal. It was a nice recovery from their tough away draw in the Kitara region, and a clean sheet is a clean sheet. The Season 5 champs are trying to get back into the UICA, after missing it and only qualifying for the Vilitan Cove International competition last season, and this was an important step closer towards doing so.

Askatasuna FC 0–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
Lwanga Lions 1–0 Istria City FC
Kitara AA 1–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Hoima Warriors 1–0 Dukuma SC
Bwubanza City SC 0–2 Isipongo Flash
Mynda Electra 1–0 Aissa United FC
Bunyoro RSC 2–2 Busembe Timberwolves
Rukunbi FC 1–0 Lakiska SC
Jinja City FC 10–0 Busukuma Force
Herzegovina Phoenix 2–3 Herzegovina City FC


And the Herzegovina city derby was the night cap! Both teams, however, came in on a little bit of a slide- the Phoenix having lost three in a row, while Herzegovina City FC have lost their last pair of league matches and three of four in all competitions. Of course, the last time these two played, in the RBSA Cup Quarterfinals, it was the Phoenix who got the better of their crosstown rivals. This game was much more open than that one. Aaron Aiza scored the opener in the 14th, with Leishmann scoring in the 22nd. However, Alemane scored in the 41st, and then he equalized in the 52nd. Lawerenz would hit the post in the 64th, and he would come to rue that, as Abate Berhanu headed the ball into the back of the net for the winner in this rivalry game in the 81st minute. This, of course, is the fourth consecutive loss for the Herzegovina Phoenix- at what could be the worst time, as this slide has taken a serious shot at their chances of making the UICA Globe Cup for the second straight year.

That, of course, was not the only match to happened over the weekend. Elsewhere, the league leaders visited the cellar dwellars, as first place Busukuma AC paid a visit to last place Askatasuna FC. No surprises there, as Busukuma AC won, 2-0. They, of course, keep getting those tough wins, winning on the road, focusing against lesser opponents- all the things that you need to do to earn a league title over the course of a 38 game season. The Hoima Warriors also kept up their good performance, winning 1-0 at home over Dukuma SC. Things are really coming together for Jehan Blair's squad.

Istria City FC, once again, was subject to an upset- falling in Lwanga, by the score of 10-0. But the most eye popping scoreline came from Jinja City. Jinja City FC won by a stunning score of 10-0- the biggest victory in BSL history. The score was 7-0 at halftime, and the team had seven goalscorers- Lin Moon had a hat trick, Deonte Bradley scored twice, while Daniel Asres, Malachi Gallagher, Sia Fall, Fyodor Khalturin, and Jio Eyawanifamni scored once. Alexander Bumba, after being accused of running up the score in a post match press conference, said the following. "We're in the middle of a title race- with goal difference as a tiebreaker, it doesn't make sense to stop scoring. The Force are a professional side in the BSL- it's their job to keep us out of the net, not ours. We have a title to pursue, and that's where our focus is going to be."

Jinja City FC 2–1 Askatasuna FC
Busukuma Force 2–0 Rukunbi FC
Lakiska SC 1–1 Bunyoro RSC
Busembe Timberwolves 1–1 Mynda Electra

Aissa United FC 2–0 Bwubanza City SC
Isipongo Flash 3–2 Hoima Warriors
Dukuma SC 0–2 Kitara AA
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 3–4 Herzegovina Phoenix
Herzegovina City FC 1–1 Lwanga Lions
Istria City FC 1–0 Busukuma Athletic Club


Another matchday, some more drama. The Isipongo Flash beat the Hoima Warriors by a score of 3-2, completing a season sweep over the Warriors. On Matchday 10, the Flash won 2-0 away from home, and on their home field, they won 3-2. An upset, of course. The Herzegovina Phoenix finally stopped the bleeding, after they had lost four in a row, defeating Umbazi Metropolitan SC in a thrilling match, winning 4-3 in Umbazi. The teenage winger, Josef Lawerenz, scored the game winning goal from the penalty spot in the 86th minute, as the Phoenix celebrated their wild victory.

Jinja City FC hosted the country's lowest team, Askatasuna FC, and found just enough, with a pair of goals from Deonte Bradley, to win by a score of 2-1. Herzegovina City FC, of course, drew 1-1 with the Lwanga Lions. The Lions have performed well recently against big time opposition- upsetting Istria City FC at home last week, and on Matchday 25, defeating the Herzegovina Phoenix. They've got a young squad, especially at the front, but it looks like, over the last couple of weeks, players like Phineas Antwell, Xavier Melchoir, and Samba Singateh are all coming into their own.

And we haven't forgotten the big Super 5 matchup this week! The nightcap, Istria City FC faced Busukuma Athletic Club, the league leaders, at home. And Istria City FC struck a blow for their title hopes, defeating the league leaders by a score of 1-0. The goalscorer, of course, was a surprise- with all that talent up top, it was Robel Abeselome who scored the goal for Istria City FC to make a blow in the race for the title. Still, of course, Busukuma AC find themselves on top in the league, as their form remains strong and consistent- though, as this game shows, the race is far from over.

Askatasuna FC 1–3 Istria City FC
Busukuma Athletic Club 0–1 Herzegovina City FC
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Herzegovina Phoenix 6–0 Dukuma SC
Kitara AA 0–0 Isipongo Flash
Hoima Warriors 1–1 Aissa United FC

Bwubanza City SC 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves
Mynda Electra 0–1 Lakiska SC
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Busukuma Force
Rukunbi FC 0–0 Jinja City FC


And for the second straight week, the league leaders fell. This time, instead of to Istria City FC, they fell to the team from the Moravican capitol- Herzegovina City FC, the defending champs. Boimah Ba scored the lone goal in that game, striking a ball from 22 yards in the 43rd minute to score the game's lone goal. Yet another strike against Busukuma AC by a team further down in the table. Unfortunately for Herzegovina City FC, their form has fell off a little bit as of late, but this momentum seizing win could be a way for them to finally start their climb back up the table.

Istria City FC continued their momentum earned from last week, as they paid a visit to Askatasuna FC, and won by a score of 3-1. Their captain, Addis Anwar, scored twice, and Assefa Yitebarke added the third, as the Season 5 champs won, quite comfortably, against a team that is now frantically fighting possible relegation. Now, talk about a team that has played their way into the relegation race- Bwubanza City SC. Falling again, this time to the Timberwolves at home, 1-0, they are now Askatasuna FC's target. We'll talk more about them later on in this article- but the team is falling apart, and they've redefined this relegation race.

The other Super 5 clubs, drew. The Warriors drew, 1-1, with Aissa United FC, while Jinja City FC drew on the road, against Rukunbi FC. Mark Grayson's Herzegovina Phoenix took out their frustrations over recent performances out on Dukuma SC, winning by a score of 6-0. Josef Lawerenz, Corvid Alemane, and Amadi Uche all had doubles on the day. They are still in an interesting spot in the league- but, now, with their second consecutive, they look to have finally turned things around a little bit in the league.

Rukunbi FC 1–0 Askatasuna FC
Jinja City FC 3–1 Bunyoro RSC
Busukuma Force 1–0 Mynda Electra
Lakiska SC 1–0 Bwubanza City SC
Busembe Timberwolves 0–0 Hoima Warriors
Aissa United FC 1–3 Kitara AA
Isipongo Flash 1–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Dukuma SC 1–1 Lwanga Lions
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–6 Busukuma Athletic Club
Herzegovina City FC 0–1 Istria City FC


Busukuma Athletic Club, after losing two weeks in a row, took out their own frustrations on Umbazi Metropolitan SC, scoring five times in the second half to blow out Umbazi, 6-0, on their home field. A big win for the capitol side to simply calm things down and right the ship, as the title race is reaching its final stretch. Jinja City FC also won this week, this time taking care of business, at home, against Bunyoro RSC. They won 3-1, of course, which was more than enough for the three points and for them to keep pace with Busukuma Athletic Club.

The big game of the week, however, was the BSL's version of the North v. South Showdown. Herzegovina City FC played host to Istria City FC, in one of the league's budding rivalries. Istria City FC, in a fierce battle, emerged as the victors, winning 1-0 over their opponents. It was a tough away game for Istria City, but they got the better of Brian Emerson's squad. In, of course, the last trip of Erechtheus Condos to Herzegovina City FC, he emerged as a victor. Assefa Yitebarke scored the lone goal for the visitors this week, which will help them in their own race to the top.

Looking at the bottom of the table, Bwubanza City SC lost, again, falling 1-0 on the road to Lakiska SC, who not only took another massive step out of the cellar with that victory, but that might be the final step that they have to take towards safety. Their fourth win since they hired Winad-Lenpi, they've earned 20 points in the 12 matchdays that they had him- as opposed to 6 points for the first half of the season when they didn't have him. Since he was hired, their record is 6-2-4(W-L-T), and that aggressive hire has certainly paid off.

Askatasuna FC 0–1 Herzegovina City FC
Istria City FC 0–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Busukuma Athletic Club 3–1 Dukuma SC
Lwanga Lions 3–2 Isipongo Flash
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–1 Aissa United FC
Kitara AA 1–0 Busembe Timberwolves
Hoima Warriors 1–0 Lakiska SC
Bwubanza City SC 0–1 Busukuma Force
Mynda Electra 0–5 Jinja City FC
Bunyoro RSC 0–1 Rukunbi FC


Herzegovina City FC took a trip to Askatasuna FC, and they found a path to victory- Jackson Oglobelo scoring in the 34th minute, to give the defending champs a 1-0 away victory. Overall, however, it was a great weekend for the Super 5. The Warriors won at home over Lakiska SC, by a score of 1-0. Busukuma Athletic Club beat the other Islander side, also at home, by a score of 3-1. Both Islander clubs, however, have got to be loving the standings- both massive threats to get relegated, they seem now to be all but safe from relegation- doing just enough to go into the final stretch of the season with at least a little bit of comfort.

Jinja City FC went to Mynda Electra and dominated, winning by a score of 5-0. Naturally, Istria City FC slipped up, drawing with Umbazi Metropolitan Soccer Club on their home field to prevent a clean sweep by the Super 5. The Phoenix lost to Aissa United FC, when there was, yet another, howler by their goalkeeper. Gersem Markos mishandled yet another ball, and the confidence in him is at an all-time low. His future at the Phoenix is nearly finished, and his future in the BSL is in question after having a number of those- but hey, it is where they are.

Kitara Athletic Association is also a team that should be mentioned. Being quietly consistent all season, they've really come onto the scene in recent weeks, winning five of their last six, and they also haven't lost since Matchday 25- meaning they are on a 7 game unbeaten streak. Shocking everybody, they're slowly yet surely climbing up the table. They were in 12th place after 8 games- where you'd expect them to be, a midtable club. Of course standings at that point don't mean anything, as Bunyoro RSC was in second and the Phoenix were in first, but that's besides the point.

After 16 games, right before the midway point, they were in 7th. And after 24 games, right after the midway point, they were in 6th. And now, with their recent streak, they are not only in fifth, but in striking distance of fourth place, just four points behind Herzegovina City FC. The defending champs, of course, are favored to get to the UICA, but who would've told you that Kitara AA would be in fifth place with only six games to go? That'll certainly be an interesting team to watch.

Banijan Soccer League Standings after Matchday 32
Banijan Soccer League         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD    Pts 
1 Busukuma Athletic Club 32 23 4 5 60 17 +43 73
2 Jinja City FC 32 22 4 6 64 15 +49 70
3 Istria City FC 32 20 5 7 51 22 +29 65
4 Herzegovina City FC 32 20 2 10 55 26 +29 62
5 Kitara AA 32 18 4 10 44 33 +11 58
6 Herzegovina Phoenix 32 16 5 11 56 34 +22 53
7 Hoima Warriors 32 16 5 11 48 33 +15 53
8 Bunyoro RSC 32 14 9 9 32 24 +8 51
9 Isipongo Flash 32 15 5 12 39 32 +7 50
10 Aissa United FC 32 16 2 14 36 40 −4 50
11 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 32 14 7 11 40 37 +3 49
12 Busukuma Force 32 12 5 15 27 46 −19 41
13 Rukunbi FC 32 11 5 16 25 39 −14 38
14 Mynda Electra 32 10 8 14 29 44 −15 38
15 Busembe Timberwolves 32 8 9 15 31 40 −9 33
16 Lwanga Lions 32 8 8 16 22 34 −12 32
17 Lakiska SC 32 6 8 18 22 53 −31 26
18 Dukuma SC 32 6 7 19 24 58 −34 25
19 Bwubanza City SC 32 4 7 21 23 57 −34 19
20 Askatasuna FC 32 4 5 23 22 66 −44 17


Handicapping the title & relegation races- who is in contention for first, fourth, and last- and what those teams have to do to accomplish their goals

This section will be much simpler. We'll be handicapping the major races to watch down the stretch. Specifically, the relegation race- who will get last place? The UICA race- who will be in the UICA next year, irrespective of the competition? And who will be the big cheese- who will be the champs? We'll go, team by team, through each race.

Relegation Race
Bwubanza City Soccer Club

This was a team, in our season preview, that we predicted could get relegated. And there was a number of reasons we had for that. Chief among them being, they are the youngest team in the league. They have quite a few raw prospects- but they aren't developed. And as the season has moved on, it has showed. After a halfway decent start to the season, they were in 14th after 16 games- a lower midtable side, but seemingly safe from the league's lone relegation spot. Not a great team, nothing to write home about, still, they were safe. Or so everyone thought.

Fast forward by 16 more games, and everything has come crashing down. Bwubanza City SC are in the midst of a 9 game losing streak in the league. Their last win was on Matchday 15, a 2-0 away victory over Rukunbi FC. What has happened since then? In the 17 games since then, they have tied twice, and lost a stunning 15 times. Only two points over 17 games, and since their start to the season was halfway decent, they have flown under the radar- but now, it has hit them in the face, and they might hit the panic button.

They are faced with another problem too- as the league's youngest team, when things are going bad, they are going terribly- as is obvious at this club. They are only 2 points ahead of last place Askatasuna FC, but are certainly looking like they deserve to be relegated, especially with recent form. And there's nothing to suggest that their form will recover- 9 straight losses right now, and they are certainly in danger of free falling all the way out of the league, in what could only be known as a stunning, second half collapse to go from midtable all the way into last place and out of the league, with a historically poor finish.

A team with 9 of their starting XI 22 or younger, a number of players might be rattled by this. Tessema Negasi, their manager, has to figure out something, and find someway to salvage the season- or else it'll not only be his job on the line, but his project will be blown up as they would be forced to navigate their way through the regional league system again. We're not sure if they can recover- while they are, right now, technically in safety, they might be the team that has the highest chance of being relegated.

Askatasuna FC

Ahh, Askatasuna FC. They decided to stick with their manager of 12 years- even after the success of the hire at Lakiska SC. Askatasuna FC was not prepared for a midseason coaching search, and Protesilaus Soter, who is retiring after the season, will hope that his legacy upon retirement will not be the first ever manager to lead a team to relegation in the history of the Banijan Soccer League.

They are in a tight situation- the talent simply isn't there. Ultimately, those are the facts and that is the truth. They have some nice pieces- Martin Lucey is well respected by scouts, but he is only 20, so he is still developing his own skills. Askatasuna FC's best chance, right now, is the fact that Bwubanza City SC is in such a free fall. Of course, they need at least three more points to pass Bwubanza City SC, and probably six to eight to be safe.

The big game to watch of the relegation race, of course, will be on Matchday 37- when Askatasuna FC & Bwubanza City SC meet, in Bwubanza City. Considering the form of these two teams right now, that game could ultimately be the decider, and the winner of that match will likely be a massive favorite to get to safety, whereas the loser will likely be staring relegation in the face after that matchup.

UICA Race
Busukuma Athletic Club
UICA berth all but clinched.

Jinja City FC
UICA berth all but clinched.

Istria City FC
We won't spend much time on this. While we can't imagine a scenario where either of the above two squads miss the UICA, Istria City FC has a slight possibility of missing it. Their big away win in Matchday 30, against Herzegovina City FC, however, puts them 7 points ahead of fifth place Kitara AA with only six games to go. So while it is still possible, if Istria City FC get cold, that they miss out on the UICA entirely, it is highly unlikely enough that we won't consider the point.

Herzegovina City FC
Now, if this were any other team, we'd say that there was a dogfight on our hands for the final UICA Globe Cup berth- but since it's Brian Emerson, and it's Herzegovina City FC, we feel as if the chances that they fall all the way out of the top four, just one season after going undefeated, would be quite stunning. Of course, there would be soul-searching here if that happened- they haven't missed the top four since Season 2.

This team has too much talent to not get fourth place. The league's best manager, Brian Emerson, and their stunning success in the UICA this past season, would mean that another UICA berth would be simply deserving for a squad that has played 20 extra matches since the start of the summer, than the BSL teams who didn't qualify for any international competition. Of course, their form hasn't been sizzling as of late, and they are certainly not absolutely on top like they were last season and this past summer- but that's because, of course, going back to the mean.

The only thing going against them, really, is that the pressure is really on them to finish in the top four. They want to build on their last UICA appearance- it would be quite a shame if they didn't get that opportunity, because they were overtaken by Kitara Athletic Association. This team can deal with the pressure and weight of expectation- they did go undefeated just a year ago. But it's a different kind, for this race. Instead of a hopeful pressure to go undefeated, it can be a fearful one to not finish fifth. It will be up to Brian Emerson to keep everyone's spirits up, to focus on the goal, to take everything one game at a time. It will be a different kind of test for him- when things aren't going swimmingly, can he keep everyone focused and achieve that goal of playing in the UICA next season?

Kitara Athletic Association
They have slowly, but surely, worked their way up the table, and the table is showing the fruit of their efforts- they are now in fifth place, just four points behind the defending champions, Herzegovina City FC. Now, of course, they needed a little bit of help to get here- Mark Grayson's squad, over the last 8 games, the same time period where Kitara AA had 5 wins, 2 draws, and a loss, had only 2 wins, and a stunning 6 losses. The worst 8 game stretch of his tenure in the league, that knocked them out of any realistic contention for the top four, and Kitara AA has swept in to take advantage.

Flip Kollias is retiring, and he is retiring, seemingly, at the top in terms of the club- this is his finest season on the touchline at Kitara. In his 7 seasons at the helm, they've finished in the following places, in order of season. 9th(out of 16), 12th(out of 20), 7th, 10th, 8th, and 13th. Firmly a midtable side- not bad, not great. Performing where the talent and resources that are at his disposal should be- no shame in that, and he will certainly be given a loud clap on his way out.

But now, of course, assuming they can maintain their current form, they are on pace for their best ever finish in seven seasons of BSL membership- they are in fifth, and they have a legitimate opportunity to get fourth. They've won five of their last six games, and haven't lost in any of their last seven games. Nick Haller is fitting in nicely, Francis Getachew is playing well, and they are even getting vintage performances from 37 year old right back Enzo Capistran.

To be frank- even if they can just hold fifth or sixth, going out with your team's highest ever finish in the league, he can go out with his head held high. And as they seem likely to clinch the league's most improved spot, they are likely to enter at least the Vilitan Cove International. But if he can get fourth, and get them into the UICA? And, while doing so, surpass the class of the Banijan Soccer League, Herzegovina City FC? That would be a legacy definer. He's certainly going to go for it, and with a club like this, you'll never know how many chances they'll have at the top four- they're going to go all out for the spot. And if they can maintain their current form over the next six games, and HZCFC slips up, well... They can absolutely shock the world.

Title Race
Busukuma Athletic Club
This has been mentioned a million times- they are the only Super 5 club to have never won the Banijan Soccer League. It's only been around for seven seasons, of course, but they are the biggest club to have never won it, and that is something that has always bothered their fan base. This season, clearly, is their best chance to finally shed that label, and bring the country's premier trophy into the trophy cabinet- the BSL championship trophy.

Ferran Rey, of Juvencus is in his second year at the club, and they are clearly hitting their stride under this new manager. Alanso Tamba is playing well on the wing, and Alex Sandoval has proved to be an excellent edition to play the number 9 role under this manager. They are currently leading in the league, and have been for a while. The interesting thing here, is this. As the pressure has built on this squad, as they have dealt with the pressure of being league leaders this season, they have succeeded. They have kept their heads down, and simply just kept winning.

The schedule is favorable the rest of the way out- only one Super 5 club is left for them to play this season. However, that will be one of, if not the, biggest matches in the history of the Banijan Soccer League, if things pan out- a home match against Jinja City FC. They're going to be expected to care of business the next 5 weeks, however, and will hope to clinch things before then- Jinja City FC have the advantage on goal difference. They will be favorites, but there will be some tricky matchups in there- playing a rejuvenated Lakiska SC, and the Capitol City derby, which anyone can always win. They are the slight favorites- a lot of obstacles, but the path to the title is visible.

Jinja City FC
The league's most consistent squad, am I right? A big time name, a big time team- and with four straight second place finishes, they are possibly going to finish in second for what would be the fifth straight season. They want that title, and they want it bad- nobody wants to finish second that many times. This season, unlike last season, however, the title is well within reach for Alexander Bumba's squad.

They have the talent. Lin Moon and Deonte Bradley are a fearsome duo for any defense to deal with, and, of course, they are in control of their own destiny- with what might be a massive matchup on the final day of the season, playing on Matchday 38 against Busukuma Athletic Club, in the nation's capitol. They are only three points behind in the standings- but with an advantage on goal difference, thanks largely to a midseason 10-0 win over the Busukuma Force that gave their goal differential a massive boost.

Can they do it? Can they win the league? Well, not only do they have to keep pace with Busukuma AC, they also have a much tougher path. A trip to Hoima, while hosting both Kitara Athletic Association and the Herzegovina Phoenix over the next 5 weeks could prove quite a tricky path for this squad to navigate. They are most certainly capable, of course, of winning all of these games- but they will all be tough asks, and there will certainly be no easy victories.

If they want the final game of the season to mean anything, they have to find a way to win those games. If they go into the final game still within three points and an advantage on goal difference, they will certainly be capable of winning that game- they will have the momentum, and they have big game experience.

Istria City FC
Istria City FC is 8 points off the pace with only six games remaining- like we said for the UICA berth. It is possible that they win the league, and it is, just barely, within the realm of possibility- however, with no matchups remaining against either of the teams ahead of them, they would need to, likely, win at least five of their last six games, and get quite a bit of help from others. So it's a possibility, but we imagine that they'll finish in third or fourth- good enough for the Globe Cup, but ultimately, not good enough to be crowned champions.

Hoima Warriors & Istria City FC punch their tickets to the RBSA Cup Final

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Warriors celebrate lone goal in semifinals against the Herzegovina Phoenix


And now we have our teams in the Final of the RBSA Cup!

The Hoima Warriors went to Phoenix Stadium for the first semifinal. The Herzegovina Phoenix, as of late, have been struggling in league play, and are looking to get out of that funk in the RBSA Cup. The Warriors, on the other hand, are improving within the league, and are on a mission to finally win a trophy in the Banijan Soccer League- in what would be their first trophy since they won the league in Season 2.

The Phoenix, of course, beat the Warriors in Season, 4-2, in the RBSA Cup Final- but that was a heck of a long time ago. These two teams, right now, going into this game level on points in the league, were both fighting for an opportunity to make a final. The game was pretty defensive- neither team wanted to lose- but the battle was physical, the fans were into it, and it was clear that even though this was the cup competition, both teams wanted to go to the FInal very, very badly.

It was clear, as the game went on- it would take a moment of magic to win this game. Both teams were too tight in the midfield. The Warriors, however, produced that moment of magic. Samba Ndaw played a ball over the top to Derick Mason, who was racing down the field, and all of a sudden, thanks to a defensive breakdown, they had a two on one. He passed the ball to Marbue Owusu, who slotted the ball home in the 71st to give the team a 1-0 lead, that ended up being the final score. The sea of purple was silent- while the Warriors and the small bloc of red in the away section celebrate their trip to the final.

Who would they meet in the final, however? There were two options- Istria city FC or Busukuma Athletic Club The league leaders, of course, trying to chase the rarest of things- the league-cup double. It would certainly be an impressive feat- nobody has done that in the 7 season history of the BSL. However, this away match, at Kabonero III Field, was always going to be a tough obstacle. Alanso Tamba scored in the 33rd minute, but then, Yitebarke responded with a hat trick- 41st, 52nd, and 76th. Sandoval scored in the 89th minute to make things interesting, but it wasn't enough.

The final is set! Two Super 5 clubs, a big matchup, worthy of a final. Istria City FC is making their third appearance in the RBSA Cup Final in the past four seasons. In Season 4, they fell to Jinja City FC, 3-2 in the final. In Season 5, they went all the way back to the final. They had won the league in thrilling fashion, on the Final day that season, and were going for the league-cup double. While that was the closest any team has ever gotten to the league-cup double, they ultimately fell short, falling to Herzegovina City FC in penalties. They were level, 4-4, after 90 minutes, and neither team scored in extra time, but Herzegovina City FC hit three penalties, while Istria City FC only hit two.

It will be an intriguing matchup- which team will earn victory? Will it be Istria City FC, who will finally win this competition? Or will it be the Warriors, who will their first trophy in forever, putting them back where they belong? We'll find out, of course, in six weeks.

RBSA Cup Semifinals
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–1 Hoima Warriors
Istria City 3–2 Busukuma Athletic Club
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Postby Banija » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:33 am

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The Banijan Youth League is a new creation by the Royal Banijan Soccer Association, and it is in its first season. It was creating at the most recent owners meetings after concerns within the country about their centralized development of youth talent, with only a few BSL sides having their own youth teams. With all 68 teams in the pyramid having youth teams being financially unfeasible, the Royal Banijan Soccer Association commissioned the creation of 8 regional youth academies- one for each of the 7 regions of Banija, plus one for the nation of the Busoga Islands, whose clubs participate in the Banijan soccer pyramid.

Players from the National Capitol Region, the only region to not have its own academy due to its size, are eligible to play in either the Kitara and Ankole regional academies. Each academy only has one team, and accepts players as young as 14, and as old as 18 years old. Each academy, of course, is required to have at least five members of its starting XI from the home region where it is based- while both the Kitara and Ankole regional academies are also required to each have one member of the starting XI from the National Capitol Region, coterminous with the city of Busukuma.

In terms of player eligibility, all players must maintain amateur status, as defined by the Royal Banijan Soccer Association, to maintain membership. This means, prior to them arriving at the regional youth academy, they cannot have played full-time professional soccer anywhere else, though they could have been in a foreign youth academy. Players are encouraged to participate in youth international tournaments if they are selected, like the Di Bradini Cup and the Sporting World Cup, as well as the Summer Olympic Games. Amaetur status is maintained if the player participates in a Baptism of Fire. However, participation for the senior national team in a competitive match outside of the Baptism of Fire- defined as the RBSA by a World Cup Qualifier, World Cup Finals Match, a Cup of Harmony match, or a senior regional tournament match/Independents Cup match, shall be deemed as having lost their amateur status.

The regional academies are maintained, financially, by the clubs that are in that region, both in the BSL and the regional leagues. Therefore, those teams are the only ones within Banija who have the eligibility to sign players from that regional academy. There is a bidding process at the end of the season for any players, and they can start playing in matchday 33 of the corresponding season. A player, of course, can decline his bid if he wishes to stay within the regional academy. The academies also provide a secondary education for all students, with people who finish their time at the academy, at the end of their age 18 season, also earning a high school diploma that is recognized throughout Banija. Players who do not go on to play professionally anywhere by age 21 are then eligible to admission to universities throughout Banija.

The league's commissioner is Sarh Sane. The former 16 year manager at Busukuma Athletic Club, he left the club after Season 5. He then joined the Banijan national team as the assistant manager during the latest World Cup Qualification campaign. He also holds the titles of Youth Development Director of the Royal Banijan Soccer Association.

Team Information
1. Moravica Regional Academy
This is the regional academy for Banija's richest region, the Moravica region. Located in the country's Northwest, the academy serves some of the country's biggest clubs- like Istria City FC, Herzegovina City FC, and Istria City FC. The academy itself is located in the regional capitol, in Herzegovina City. Considering the teams that participate in funding it, it is expected to be Banija's most prestigious youth academy- they have the resources,

The only problem with this youth academy, of course, is that there are strong regional rivalries within Moravica that they will have to bridge. Specifically- the Northern part of Moravica, anchored by Herzegovina City, is far different than Greater Istria, anchored by Banija's largest city in Istria, a city of three million people. There were talks, of course, of dividing this into two academies- but they decided against it, at least, for now. We'll see, however, if they can last. This academy also serves as a feeder to more clubs than any other, with 12 clubs eligible to draw players from it.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Herzegovina City FC, Istria City FC, Rukunbi FC, Herzegovina Phoenix
Northwestern League: AFC Kosactus, Taramazna United, Eastern Moravica FC, Slobochia Bears, Koszagard City, Barmos United, Corizova United, Suwawa FC

Manager: Isaiah Grecos. 41 years old.
Starting XI: 4-2-1-3
GK #1 Amat Turay. 17 years old. From Herzegovina City, Moravica.
RB #2 Abdoulaye Condé. 15 years old. From Vdici, Moravica.
CB #4 Fanding Jobateh. 16 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
CB #5 Jabril Faye. 17 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
LB #3 Makang Jallow. 14 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
RDM #17 Ebrahima Kandeh. 15 years old. From Slobochia, Moravica.
LDM #20 Burama Jawo. 18 years old. Captain. From Corizova, Moravica.
CAM #10 Karamba Fatty. 17 years old. From Lakiska, Busoga Islands.
RW #11 Manlafi Singhateh. 15 years old. From Herzegovina City, Moravica.
ST #9 Ilman Jawara. 17 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
LW #7 Reden Omar. 16 years old. From Razenthuria.
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Moravica Catholic High School Multipurpose Field. Capacity of 4,000.


2. Islander Regional Academy
This academy services the Busoga Islands, the newly independent nation that spent nearly 200 years as an integral part of Banija. Of course, with independence only declared just a number of years ago, the Busoga Islander Football Association made an agreement with the RBSA to have seperate national teams, and yet, keep the six clubs that are on the Busoga Islands as full members of the Royal Banijan Soccer Association, participating fully in RBSA competitions, and follow all RBSA rules. With the clubs members of the RBSA, the RBSA would continue to operate as a single association entity in terms of entry into UICA and other international competitions.

And, of course, the Busoga Islander Football Association also agreed to not create, nor sanction, its own national club competition. The islander Regional Academy was controversially named- BIFA(Busoga Islander Football Association) wanted to name the academy the Busoga Islands National Academy of Football, while the RBSA wanted them to name it the Busogan Regional Youth Academy. BIFA didn't like the latter name because they were no longer a region- they were a nation, and wanted to reflect that status. The RBSA, meanwhile, didn't like the idea of an academy named the naitonal academy competing with a bunch of regional academies. The Islander Regional Academy name, of course, was the compromise- it would fit alongside the other academy with the word regional, and calling it the Islander Regional Academy was, both sides felt, ambigous enough that it didn't call the Busoga Islands a region directly. The academy itself is located in Dukuma, North Island, the nation's biggest city.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Lakiska SC, Dukuma SC
Northwestern League: Tezirbu Foxes, Jaribga Soccer Club, Nezrouch Rovers, Tripoli Foresters

Manager: David Kamu. 38 years old.
Starting XI: 5-4-1
GK #1 Kylian Jawara. 16 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
RWB #2 Karim Shahi. 17 Years old. From Lakiska, South Island, Busoga Islands.
RCB #5 Behzad Bina. 18 years old. captain. From Lakiska, South Island, Busoga Islands.
CB #4 Sirvan Rahnema. 17 years old. From Nezrouch, South Island, Busoga Islands.
LCB #6Aziz Dehghan. 16 years old. From Nezrouch, South Island, Busoga Islands.
LB #3 Parviz Blourian. 14 years old. From Firuzabad, North Island, Busoga Islands.
RM #8 Freydoun Rezghi. 16 years old. From Dukuma, North Island, Busoga Islands.
CM #13 Abbas Behdad. 15 years old. From Dukuma, North Island, Busoga Islands.
CM #17 Jallal Abbasi. 16 years old. From Dukuma, North Island, Busoga Islands.
LM #21 Davoud Qasemi. 17 years old. From Corizova, Moravica.
ST #9 Reza Freydooni. 17 years old. From Tezirbu, North Island.
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Dukuma Central High School Multipurpose Field; Capacity of 7,000


3. Bunyoro Regional Academy
The Bunyoro Regional Academy services, of course, the Bunyoro region. A rural region in Southern Banija, in the sporting world, the region is famous for its lacrosse team, Bunyoro RSC. Dominant within the club lacrosse scene within Banija, and considered a top club internationally, soccer is still king in this region. The academy is located in Byakado City, a smaller town within the region.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Bunyoro Regional Sporting Club, Bwubanza City Soccer Club
Southern League: Dodoma City Sporting Club, Kigagana Mountaineers, Mukegara Warriors, Byakado City, Sororo City, Amaku City Football Club

Manager: Leslie Francis. 58 years old.
Starting XI: 4-4-2
GK #1 Randall Kabunka. 18 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
RB #2 Masane Touray. 17 years old. From Dodoma, Bunyoro.
CB #5 Karamba Kayode. 16 years old. From Sororo, Bunyoro.
CB #4 Kemo Jobe. 16 yeras old. From Sororo, Bunyoro.
LB #3 Yankubah Thiaw. 16 years old. From Bwubanza City, Bunyoro.
RM #7 Bassirou Kandeh. 18 years old. Captain. From Bwubanza City, Bunyoro.
CM #8 Bouba Ngum. 15 years old. From Byakado, Bunyoro.
CM #17 Sutay Camara. 17 years old. From Amaku, Bunyoro.
LM #11 Samba Kaba. 18 years old. From Busemlu Park, Buganda.
ST #12 Saihou Jammeh. 16 years old. From Kigagana, Bunyoro.
ST #9 Addo Ndiaye. 18 years old. From Bwubanza City, Bunyoro.

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Byakado City Stadium. Capacity of 7,600. Shares with Southern League side Byakado City SC.


4. Buganda Regional Academy
Another Southern region, Buganda Regional Academy services quite a number of teams. The regional academy is naturally located in Umbazi- one of the region's larger cities. Servicing a number of different teams, the Buganda Regional Academy is ran by people who are fiercely proud of being from Buganda, known as the country's poorest region.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Isipongo Flash, Umbazi Metropolitan Soccer Club, Lwanga Lions
Southern League: Umbazi Footballers Association, Hawabark Boulders, Pumbasa Boars, Busemlu Park Sporting Club, Abomfa United, Boufaya Ravens

Manager: Cedric Willingham. 61 years old.
Starting XI: 4-4-2 Diamond.
GK #1 Eric Tarbowza. 18 years old. Captain. From Umbazi, Buganda.
RB #2 Sirif Njie. 16 years old. From Lwanga, Buganda.
CB #5 Paoboy Sesay. 17 years old. From Lwanga, Buganda.
CB #6 Wandi Singhateh. 16 years old. From Lwanga, Buganda.
LB #4 Bubacar Kah. 15 years old. From Umbazi, Buganda.
CDM #3 Jato Kolley. 18 years old. From Isipongo, Buganda.
RM #7 Baturou Danso. 17 years old. From Herzegovina City, Moravica.
LM #11 Pa Mansaré. 16 years old. From Lakiska, South Island, Busoga Islands.
CAM #8 Boro Kabba. 17 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
ST #10 Ilman Sowe. 16 years old. From Pumbasa, Buganda.
ST #9 Pateh Coulibaly. 18 years old. From Hawabark, Buganda.

Umbazi City Football Stadium. Capacity of 4,000. Serves as the varsity football & soccer stadium for the city's four high schools.
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5. Kitara Regional Academy
Located in Western Banija, this region covers most of the Banijan western shoreline south of the Moravica region. Bordering the National Capitol Region on its Western edge, many suburban areas of the nation's capitol are in this region. It is not a region that is talked about- not a powerhouse economically, athletically, or politically, it is a region that is often ignored, as it is overshadowed by the regions that border it- Moravica to the North, and the National Capitol Region/Ankole region to the west.

As one of the regions paired with the National Capitol Region, of course, all three capitol clubs are eligible to draw from the regional academy, as well as the Ankole Regional Academy. The academy itself is located in Mamari, Kitara.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Busembe Timberwolves, Kitara Athletic Association, Busukuma Athletic Club, Busukuma Force
Lower Coastal League: Kabakono City, AFC Akwadua, Kiala Athletic Society, Djoro Athletic, Mamari City, Capitol City Football Club

Manager: Jombo Ndaw. 45 years old.
Starting XI: 3-6-1 Diamond.
GK #1. Sutay Sowe. 18 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
RB #2 Chinwe Akabueze. 17 years old. From Busembe, Kitara.
CB #5 Fumnanya Chukwuma. 18 years old. From Busembe, Kitara.
LB #3 Orjea Agu. 16 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
RDM #4 Chioma Chuks. 15 years old. From Sisonke, Kitara.
LDM #6 Oby Uchee. 16 years old. From Sisonke, Kitara.
RM #7 Obasi Chinasa. 14 years old. From Mamari, Kitara.
LM #11 Jelany Beluchi. 15 years old. From Djoro, Kitara.
RCAM #10 Jideofor Zikoranaudodimma. 17 years old. From Akwadua, Kitara.
LCAM #8 Obike Chuks. From Aissa, Hangaza.
ST #12 Ebele Ndulu. From Istria, Moravica.

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Mamari Valley Stadium, capacity of 4,800. Share a stadium with Mamari City.


6. Ankole Regional Academy
The region is both North and east of the National Capitol Region, in an area best described as South Central Banija. Home to one of Banija's largest cities in Hoima, located centrally within the nation at the Northern end of the region, the academy is hosted in that city of 1 million+ people. Like the Kitara Regional Academy, all of the capitol clubs are eligible to draw from the Ankole Regional Academy. The Kitara Region, of course, is host to fewer BSL teams than any region in the country- the Hoima Warriors. And with the Warriors also having the resources of being a Super 5 club, that city and that team tends to dominate the proceedings of this academy.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Hoima Warriors, Busukuma Athletic Club, Busukuma Force
Lower Coastal League: Kwadama Dojo, Nsade United, Dimbogourou Sporting Club, Zakuta City, Ogbordu Diamond Football Club, Baleweye Football Club, Capitol City Football Club

Manager: Obasi Ngulu. 41 years old.
Starting XI: 5-2-3
GK #1 Isaac Ngulu. 15 years old. Son of manager Obasi Ngulu. From Hoima, Ankole.
RWB #2 Chydea Ijeawele. 17 years old. From Zakuta, Ankole.
LCB #21 Chima Ekenedilichukwu. 16 years old. From Hoima, Ankole.
CB #25 Chizoba Madukaife. 17 years old. From Hoima, Ankole.
RCB #5 Izuchukwu Zebenjo. 18 years old. Captain. From Baleweye, Ankole.
LWB #14 Orji Mazzi. 16 years old. From Nsade, Ankole.
RCM #8 Obasey Jideofor. 17 years old. From Kwadama, Ankole.
LCM #6 Ugonna Uche. 18 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
RW #11 Madu Okparra. 17 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
LW #7 Chibueze Yobachukwu. 17 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
ST #9 Maduabuchim Ndulu. 16 years old. From Hoima, Ankole.
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University of Ankole Soccer Stadium. Capacity of 12,000


7. Aksum Regional Academy
The Aksum Regional Academy is located in Okahavi, Aksum. One of the two Northern regions of Banija, this is located in Northeast Banija- right alongside the Geisenfred border in the North. This academy is fairly acromonius- teams are known for working together for the common interest in this region, and this is no exception to that rule.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Mynda Electra, Askatasuna FC
Northern League: Luguyala Patriots, Thayaferu United, AFC Okahavi, Cerenus United, Koksho City

Manager: Xavier Best. 39 years old.
Starting XI: 3-1-2-1-3
GK #1 Azah Ewale. 17 years old. From Askatasuna, Aksum.
RB #2 Sociga Ngolomingi. 18 years old. From Mynda, Aksum.
CB #5 Soli Souba. 18 years old. Captain. From Askatasuna, Aksum.
LB #3 Nenge Kabange. 16 years old. From Koksho, Aksum.
CDM #4 Abdullahi Abanda. 17 years old. From Hoima, Ankole.
RCM #6 Awa Ekoto. 17 years old. From Cerenus, Aksum.
LCM #8 Constantin Mouktar. 16 years old. From Luguyala, Aksum.
CAM #10 Logan Mabiala. 17 Yyears old. From Thayaferu, Aksum.
RW #11 Jamie Nde. 15 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
ST #9 Mathéo Dika. 16 years old. From Mynda, Aksum.
LW #7 Grégory Mvondo. 18 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.

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Hills Stadium, capacity of 8,700. Share a stadium with AFC Okahavi.


8. Hangaza Regional Academy
Located in North-Central Banija, this region is dominated by Jinja City- a city of nearly 2.5 million people. It is Banija's largest inland city, and Banija's second largest city in general- Istria, Moravica, the largest, has 3 million. Of course, the academy is also located in the city.

Teams Serviced: Banijan Soccer League: Jinja City FC, Aissa United FC
Northern League: Igulu City FC, Nanami Dragons, Selekawe Knights, Garixas City, Okakameb City, Duntho Sporting Club, Gadive City

Manager: Reece Mokaté. 48 years old.
Starting XI: 3-4-1-2
GK #1 François Tantoh. 17 years old. From Igulu, Hangaza.
RB #2 Kenosi Moreri. 16 years old. From Jinja City, Hangaza.
CB #5 Dikgakgamatso Mosweni. 15 years old. From Busukuma, National Capitol Region.
LB #3 Morwadi Tsholofelo. 17 years old. From Jinja City, Hangaza.
RM #7 Lekgotla Mofhenyi. 16 years old. From Garixas, Hangaza.
CM #8 Isago Pusoetsile. 17 years old. From Duntho, Hangaza.
CM #13 Tapiwa Lenthabetse. 18 years old. Captain. From Jinja City, Hangaza.
LM #11 Galeage Omphile. 17 years old. From Igulu, Hangaza.
CAM #10 Kebaneilwe Omolemo. 16 years old. From Istria, Moravica.
ST #6 Ontlametse Motheo. 17 years old. From Herzegovina City, Moravica.
ST #9 Tirelo Tiiso. 18 years old. From Corizova, Moravica.

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The Dragon's Nest. Capacity of 12,600. Shared with the Nanami Dragons & Selekawe Knights- located where the Nanami and Selekawe neighborhoods meet in Jinja City.[/i]


Youth Academy League complete as Bunyoro Regional Academy take Banija's first national youth championship

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Omar celebrates scoring a goal for the Moravica Regional Academy


The Bunyoro Youth Academy, after a long season, has won the first edition of the Banijan Youth Academy League. With 8 academies in the league's first ever season, each academy played each other four times- meaning each team played a total of 28 games. The Bunyoro Regional Academy, quite surprisingly, came ahead with the league by only a single point over the course of the 28 game season. It was an interesting season to watch- the interest was fairly high, and this, of course, did not have any mandatory away ticket allocations- with the regional nature of the clubs, and them being youth academies, that was not deemed necessary.

From a business standpiont, Sarh Sane says that the league will "almost certainly" hit the breakeven point next season, and that the limited number of academies were key to ensuring that happened. The Moravica Regional Academy and the Islander Regional Academy, two favorites during the season, also did well, finishing second and third, respectively. THe last place, and by quite a bit, academy was Hangaza Regional Academy- earning only 20 points over 28 games, 11 points behind the team only one spot ahead of them in the table, Ankole Regional Academy.

From a player standpoint. The player who did the most to stand out was Omar, the league's sole foreign player, from Razenthuria. The Moravica Regional Academy scored a stunning 70 goals over the course of the 28 game season, averaging exactly 2.5 goals per game. They were led by Reden Omar, who led the league with 19 goals scored over the course of the 28 game season. The winger was everywhere- he was pacy, he was quick, and most importantly, he could finish. The winger is expected to be signed by somebody from Moravica for the last 6 games of the BSL campaign- both Herzegovina City FC and the Herzegovina Phoenix are interested, though we'll see who has the roster space to actually bring him up.

All in all, a successful first rendition of the Youth Academy League. The owners, of course, will review the numbers, the coaches will review the development, and we'll have to wait for next season's owners meetings to find out if they are any changes.

Banijan Youth Academy League     Pld   W   D   L    GF   GA   GD    Pts 
1 Bunyoro Regional Academy 28 14 8 6 55 36 +19 50
2 Moravica Regional Academy 28 15 4 9 70 50 +20 49
3 Islander Regional Academy 28 12 9 7 50 38 +12 45
4 Aksum Regional Academy 28 11 8 9 57 48 +9 41
5 Kitara Regional Academy 28 11 6 11 43 52 −9 39
6 Buganda Regional Academy 28 9 6 13 57 58 −1 33
7 Ankole Regional Academy 28 7 10 11 47 70 −23 31
8 Hangaza Regional Academy 28 5 5 18 36 63 −27 20
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Postby Banija » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:37 pm

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Regional Leagues finish as four champions are crowned

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Suwawa FC fans hold a banner celebrating their Northwestern League title on the season's final day


And now, the regional leagues are complete! Each league, 12 teams, and a quadruple round robin- playing each opponent four times, for a total of 44 league games for each side. Of course, then there is the battle for promotion- the four champions are entered into a promotion playoff, with the sole winner promoted to the Banijan Soccer League, while the remaining three champions all qualify to the Serie B Champions Cup. But here, first, we will take a look at our four champions! Who won each league, why they did, how they did, and how each champion is shaping up for the playoffs.

Northwestern League

Northwestern League                   Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Suwawa FC 44 28 10 6 79 26 +53 94
2 Barmos United 44 25 15 4 66 26 +40 90
3 Corizova United 44 26 10 8 79 37 +42 88
4 AFC Kosactus 44 24 8 12 60 42 +18 80
5 Tezirbu Foxes 44 19 10 15 55 39 +16 67
6 Jaribga Soccer Club 44 17 13 14 55 47 +8 64
7 Eastern Moravica Football Club 44 17 9 18 50 57 −7 60
8 Slobochia Bears 44 14 8 22 41 58 −17 50
9 Koszagard City 44 14 6 24 53 70 −17 48
10 Tripoli Foresters 44 10 7 27 35 68 −33 37
11 Nezrouch Rovers 44 10 6 28 32 78 −46 36
12 Taramazna United 44 6 6 32 27 84 −57 24


Suwawa FC has dethroned the kings of the Northwestern League. The last two seasons, of course Corizova United was making a strong case that they were Banija's strongest regional side overall. Not only were the only team to win back to back league titles during that time period, but they also performed the best out of any team in the Serie B Champions Cup, being the only team in the multiverse to qualify for the Serie B Champions Cup group stages each of the last two seasons. And, ironically, the only Banijan team to qualify for the group stages of that competition in either season.

They were the favorites going into this season- and the Corizova exemption was written into the promotion/relegation rules, as a reflection of what they accomplished when they didn't have an opportunity to fight for promotion to the Banijan Soccer League. And Corizova United and Suwawa FC, alongside Barmos United, had a threeway fight all the way to the end. Just 2 points separating the three points at the midway point, these two teams battled it out all the way to the end- very little, if any, opportunities to create seperation throughout the course of the season. Suwawa FC stepped up in the big games, however, late in the season, and that was enough to put them over the top.

On Matchday 39, Suwawa FC took a trip to Corizova, and escaped with a 1-0 win. That was the indication that Suwawa FC might actually complete this run and win the league- taking three points from Corizova United at this crucial juncture, on their home field, with only 5 games left? Suwawa FC was clearly playing well and feeling the momentum, and they rode that into a Matchday 40 home game with Barmos United. The fourth to last game of the season, this was going to be a big one in terms of the title. And, naturally, Suwawa FC was able to win this game, also by a score of 1-0. At that point, with those two big wins, they had created just enough space to go and win the league.

They clinched the title on Matchday 43, away from home, and their celebrations went wild. Both Corizova & Barmos were mightily disappointed, but especially Corizova United- they would've been able to earn direct promotion to the BSL if they had won it, and they, most unfortunately, could not do so. Suwawa FC celebrated on their home field on the last day of the season, as they, already champions, won 1-0 at home and then the Commissioner brought out the trophy. They will be a team to fear in the promotion playoff- quality across the board, a decent, motivated manager, and, obviously, some momentum from the way they won the league. Many congratulations to them, and best of luck to them and their fans in the playoffs!

Lower Coastal League

Lower Coastal League                  Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Kabakono City 44 33 8 3 83 24 +59 107
2 Capitol City Football Club 44 27 7 10 67 29 +38 88
3 Baleweye Football Club 44 22 10 12 76 40 +36 76
4 Zakuta City 44 21 13 10 48 32 +16 76
5 Ogbordu Diamond Football Club 44 19 13 12 59 44 +15 70
6 Djoro Athletic 44 18 14 12 43 40 +3 68
7 Nsade United 44 17 12 15 36 35 +1 63
8 Kwadama Dojo 44 15 7 22 49 69 −20 52
9 Kitara Athletic Society 44 12 14 18 38 42 −4 50
10 AFC Akwadua 44 10 11 23 41 69 −28 41
11 Dimbogourou Sporting Club 44 6 5 33 20 72 −52 23
12 Mamari City 44 4 6 34 31 95 −64 18


Time for the Lower Coastal League! This was not a race at all- Kabakono City not only won it for the second season in a row, but they won it running away, with a stunning 107 points. That, of course, is a regional league record. It was a 5 point gap at the halfway point, and it finished with a 19 point gap at the top of the table, meaning that over the course of the season, they outpaced the race of the league by 14 points. An excellent season for Kabakono City, where they got better as they season went along, and you have to give full credit to Alan Bettles for getting his team to perform like that.

How were they able to blow the whole thing open? Well, like we said, they simply got better and better, earning 56 points in the second half of the season- a stunning record. That means, over the final 22 games, they had 18 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses- you cannot ask for much more than that. With that, they gave their opponents almost no margin for error, and consistently defeating their competitors in the title race, teams like Capitol City FC didn't have a chance of remaining in the title race. They had a solid season- 88 points is a good return in a 44 game season, though, realistically, you should probably aim for at least 90 if you want to win the league. That said, if a team is getting 107 points, they won't be caught.

Not only did Kabakono City blow the door off of this race, the rest of the league failed to step up when it mattered. Capitol City FC, of course, earned 42 points over the second half of the season- solid, but simply not good enough. The other competitors did even worse. Zakuta City only earned 34 points in the season's second half, while Ogbordu only earned 33. Those struggles, combined with Kabakono City racing ahead, are what allowed Kabakono City to build such a gap at the top of the table, and win the league with a few games remaining. A solid effort, a solid result, and manager Alan Bettles can only raise his glass.

Of course, now they are in the playoffs- and considering their season here, they will likely enter the playoffs as favorites. The only team to hit the century mark this season, they led all the regional leagues with 83 goals scored, as well as a +59 goal difference. They can play against anyone- both good teams and bad. Sarjo Ceesay, the ancient 45 year old midfielder for Capitol City FC, will also be retiring after his 25th season of professional soccer within Banija- marking the end of an era for the club and player. Whoever replaces him will have some big shoes to fill, especially in the locker room, as Ceesay has become known as the face of the franchise.

Northern League

Northern League                       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Duntho Sporting Club 44 27 8 9 63 22 +41 89
2 Cerenus United 44 25 11 8 69 28 +41 86
3 Garixas City 44 23 10 11 66 35 +31 79
4 Igulu City FC 44 22 12 10 61 35 +26 78
5 Okakameb City 44 19 13 12 56 51 +5 70
6 Luguyala Patriots 44 20 7 17 50 45 +5 67
7 Nanami Dragons 44 17 14 13 61 39 +22 65
8 Koksho City 44 15 14 15 51 47 +4 59
9 AFC Okahavi 44 15 10 19 50 63 −13 55
10 Gadive City 44 8 13 23 25 58 −33 37
11 Selekawe Knights 44 7 10 27 36 99 −63 31
12 Thayaferu United 44 2 6 36 17 83 −66 12


Duntho Sporting Club, once again with their season coming down to the final day, are able to win the league title! Mitiku Fassilidas, the 69 year old veteran manager of the squad, in his stunning 15th season with the team, will retire a champion. That is a legacy builder if there ever was one. And, of course, he has made his job an attractive place to go. They will either win the promotion playoff, which means that whoever takes his job will be able to take over a BSL side. Or, of course, they won't get promoted- but they will be participating in the Serie B Champions Cup, a UICA competition. Is there really a way to lose?

Let's review the final day- the second straight season the Northern League has been decided on the final day. But instead of 5 teams in contention, of course, there were only two- Duntho Sporting Club, who had 88 points, was paying a visit to Igulu City FC. And Cerenus United, who won this league just two seasons ago, came into the day with 86 points, and they had a home date with the Nanami Dragons of Jinja City. With the final day format, of course, all eyes were on those two games that would decide the champions of the North. Who would win? Who would earn the trophy?

The Lion's Den, Cerenus United's home stadium, was packed to the brim, with nearly 6,000 in the stadium in anticipation of their second championship in three seasons. Of course, they'd need help in Igulu, but this was where they were. This was in their own hands. Duntho Sporting Club and Igulu City FC kicked off, of course, and Igulu City FC was chasing the game. Goalkeeper Eba Salam, 38 years old, was playing his final game for Igulu City FC, and he wanted to go out with a clean sheet and a victory. Duntho Sporting Club created an early opportunity, in the 8th minute of the game, but it was well saved by Eba Salam. A nice dive to his left, he kept the game 0-0, and, of course, kept Cerenus United in the title race.

Meanwhile, in Aksum, things were going fairly well for the hosts. They were having the majority of the posseison, and they were going forward with the ball. Lonwabo Dikana had a 12th minute volley well saved by the opposition goalkeeper, while Naseer Ashfaq Alfarsi hit the post with his head. They were taking the initiative, though, of course, they were not putting the ball into the back of the net. Still, a solid performance in the first half by Cerenus United- taking the initiative, going forward, doing what they needed to do to win the game. Still, of course, they had not scored, and that meant nerves were rising both in the locker room, and all around the stadium. Duntho Sporting Club was 0-0 as well in their game, so a goal here could possibly win the game, and the league, for Cerenus United, if Duntho's score held.

Duntho Sporting Club, in the second half of their matchup, also was nervous. They knew just one goal could throw their whole season out of whack, and upside down- that was not what they wanted. So they continued to go forward, they continued to attack. But all eyes were on Cerenus United. And in the 56th minute, they made a fatal mistake. Luyolo Ngubenani, a Cerenus United midfielder, brought down Simphiwe Dumalisile viciously from behind, and the referee ran over. People thought he would get a yellow ,but the referee was harsh- Ngubenani got a straight red card, and the Dragons had a free kick on the edge of the box. Cerenus, now down to 10 men, had to defend the free kick- and they couldn't. Beca Menas struck beautifully from 23 yards, and the match, that was being dominated by Cerenus, was all of a sudden being led by the visitors, 1-0. Cerenus was now down both a goal and a man.

Cerenus United didn't have any other options- they had to throw all kinds of numbers forward at this point. They needed to win to at least have a fighting chance, and with 10 men, the chances of that were getting slimmer. Once news trickled over to Duntho SC of the goal and the red card, you could see the change in attitude- they switched to a much more possession based, defensive formation. One designed to hold out for the draw. Cerenus couldn't break down the Nanami Dragons, and on a counter attack in the 88th minute, with virtually nobody back, Beca Menas scored again for the Dragons, and that was the straw that broke the back of the United title hopes. There was jubilant celebrations on the Duntho SC sideline in Igulu, of course, as they finished 0-0 and became champions. Duntho Sporting Club, 89 points, Cerenus United, 86 points. And now Duntho Sporting Club will be carrying this league's standard, fighting to earn Banija's first ever promotion playoff.


Southern League

Southern League                       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Hawabark Boulders 44 30 9 5 73 27 +46 99
2 Sororo City 44 27 10 7 71 32 +39 91
3 Dodoma City SC 44 21 10 13 59 38 +21 73
4 Umbazi FA 44 19 15 10 74 50 +24 72
5 Busemlu Park SC 44 19 9 16 67 57 +10 66
6 Pumbasa Bears 44 18 12 14 50 45 +5 66
7 Mukegara Warriors 44 18 9 17 44 45 −1 63
8 Abomfa United 44 15 14 15 34 44 −10 59
9 Boufaya Ravens 44 14 11 19 43 49 −6 53
10 Amaku City FC 44 15 8 21 37 58 −21 53
11 Kigagana Mountaineers 44 4 8 32 31 84 −53 20
12 Byakado City 44 3 7 34 27 81 −54 16


And the Hawabark Boulders, for the second time in three seasons, are the undisputed champions of the Southern League! Having earned 99 points throughout the season, and especially 51 points over the last half of the season, they, of course, have earned their place. After the first half of the season, Sororo City had 51 points, while the Boulders had 48 points. In the second half of the season, the Boulders largely kept that pace up, earning 51 points over the latter half. But Sororo City? They could not keep the pace they had set, and "only" earned 43 points in the second half. A decent amount- well ahead of Dodoma Sporting Club, for example, but simply not good enough to keep pace in the title race.

Now, of course, you don't have to scorch the second half of the season to become a champion- Duntho Sporting Club did it with "only" 40 second half points, and they won the Northern League. But, of course, it helps. They didn't have a bad season- 91 points is an excellent return on investment, but the Boulders simply had a better season. What happened? What was the difference between Sororo City and the Boulders? How was Hawabark able to maintain that pace, while Sororo City faded, ever so slightly?

Both teams are well coached, and well driven. The Boulders, however, were able to seperate themselves because of their youth. While Sororo City has only one player under 24, which means they are more susceptible to wearing down over the course of a long, 44 game season, the Boulders had five players 24 or younger. One in central midfield, the pair of center backs, their goalkeeper, and half of their strikeforce. As the season went on, especially since the Boulders didn't also play in the Serie B Champions Cup this summer, they came through with a little bit more energy to finish the job as the season dragged on throughout the calendar year. Even with the pair of young center backs, there was quite a bit of push to win the league this year, to fight for promotion.

We don't think incentive was a problem with Sororo City this year- even if they were the champs last time, the chance to get promoted was added to the fold this year, which means that the drive should have been there. That said- it's hard to go back to back in a league such as this one. You come into every single game with a target on your backs, repeatedly referred to as the defending champs, and you will certainly get each team's best shot- from Byakdo City to the Boulders, to everyone else in between. It is an extra challenge that not many teams are equipped to deal with. Italo Cola is an excellent manager- and he'll have a bright future. But the squad in Hawabark was, simply put, better equipped to succeed this season, and earn their place in the playoff.

And now, of course, we have our playoff teams1 The four champions will be randomly drawn into semifinals- and the semifinal ties will be two-legged, with the away goals tiebreaker. The team that is home second in each semifinal is also randomly drawn. And the winners of the two ties will meet at the Stadium of the Restoration, for one match, to be played the day before the RBSA Cup Final- the winner will be promoted to the Banijan Soccer League. All eyes will be on those playoffs, as many Banijans are expected to tune in to see who will be the first new team in the BSL since their Season 2 expansion added the Timberwolves, Bwubanza City SC, the Herzegovina Phoenix, and the Busukuma Force. It will be an exciting time- and with everything at stake, we expect, and hope, these playoffs to be maddeningly entertaining.

Until next time!
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Founded: Mar 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:59 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Part 5

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To note the IC time listings of BSL games. The first game listed is played on Friday night(8:30 PM), the next three are played Saturday early afternoon(1 PM local time), the next two are played Saturday late afternoon(4 PM local time), the next two are played Sunday early afternoon(1 PM local time), the next one is played Sunday late afternoon(4 PM local time), and the last one is played Sunday night(7:30 PM local time).

Bunyoro RSC 2–0 Askatasuna FC
Rukunbi FC 0–1 Mynda Electra
Jinja City FC 7–1 Bwubanza City SC
Busukuma Force 0–0 Hoima Warriors
Lakiska SC 0–1 Kitara AA
Busembe Timberwolves 0–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Aissa United FC 3–3 Lwanga Lions

Isipongo Flash 0–1 Busukuma Athletic Club
Dukuma SC 0–6 Istria City FC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–0 Herzegovina City FC


The last leg of the season kicks off, of course, with matchday 33! With a couple of teams in the title race, naturally, the stage starts to get bigger, and the lights get brighter- it is crunch time for a number of teams. Kitara Athletic Association continues to make their stunning climb up the table, of course, by defeating Lakiska SC 1-0 in their own stadium. Lakiska SC, of course, has been playing extremely well since the arrival of Winad-Lenpi, and it was always going to be a tough game. However, Enzo Capistran, their right back, headed the ball into the back of the net in the 70th minute, and the effort was enough to give them three points on Saturday. And with Sunday night's 0-0 draw in Umbazi for Herzegovina City FC, the team that Kitara AA is, indeed, chasing, Kitara AA entered the weekend down four points out of fourth place and the UICA, and now, they exit the weekend just two points out of fourth place. A stunning climb- not many expected them to be competing for a UICA berth like this, but they are right in the thick of things, and with momentum, with only five games to go. And to add injury, Lucas Lucius Vit, who plays centrally in the attack, suffered a severely sprained ankle- rendering him likely out for the season. Brian Emerson, of course,

Looking above towards the top of the table, Jinja City FC was able to keep pace with Busukuma AC. Visiting last place Bwubanza City Soccer Club, Jinja City FC, once again, won emphatically- a 7-1 victory that gave Bwubanza City SC their 10th loss in a row, and made sure they earned three points. That meant, briefly, they were tied at the top of table with their Saturday night victory. On Sunday, however, Busukuma Athletic Club had a much scrappier battle to earn their share of all three points. Their game in Isipongo was scrappy- the Flash have been slaying giants all season along, being a thorn in the side of all the Super 5 clubs. Busukuma AC, however, stayed compact, kept their heads, and naitonal team member Ansu Cisse scored the game winner in the 82nd minute, which sent the visiting fans from the capitol into wild celebration. A massive win, on a weekend where Jinja City FC's 7-1 victory didn't allow them to move ahead in the standings, was a giant step forward for the league leaders in their question for their first ever BSL championship.

As for the rest of the big clubs. The Hoima Warriors paid a visit to our nation's capitol to play the "other" capitol side, and the Busukuma Force came out with a hard fought point, earning a 0-0 draw against the Warriors. The Warriors dominated the game on its face- 63% of possession, 15 total shots to 5, 9 shots on target to the Force's 2- but they couldn't figure out their way past teenage goalkeeper Mazzi Azubuike. Last, but certainly not least, Istria City FC's trip to the North Island was wildly successful, as they were able to post a 6-0 win that helped them strive towards their goal of clinching that UICA berth and, with Herzegovina City FC's slip up, creating a bit of space between Istria City FC and the defending champs.

Askatasuna FC 1–1 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Herzegovina City FC 3–0 Dukuma SC
Istria City FC 1–1 Isipongo Flash
Busukuma Athletic Club 0–0 Aissa United FC

Lwanga Lions 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves
Herzegovina Phoenix 3–0 Lakiska SC
Kitara AA 1–3 Busukuma Force
Hoima Warriors 1–0 Jinja City FC
Bwubanza City SC 1–2 Rukunbi FC
Mynda Electra 0–1 Bunyoro RSC


Let's start with the race for relegation at the very bottom of the table. Askatasuna FC and Bwubanza City SC are the two contenders for last place. Of course, Bwubanza City SC has not once been in last place the entirety of the season. However, entering this weekend, they are losing of 10 league games in a row, and since Matchday 15, they've drawn twice and lost 16 times- a stunningly terrible run that has seen them slide down from safety, to relative safety, to a place where now, all the sirens are ringing. Askatasuna FC has been towards the bottom of the table all season, and with Lakiska SC's recent spurt, they've been in last place for quite a while now. Just two points separate 20th place Askatasuna FC, with 17 points in the league's relegation spot, from 19th place Bwubanza City Soccer Club, who, ironically, have 19 points. Askatasuna FC has not had a stunning record recently either, losing seven games in a row in the league and 8 of their last 9 overall. Neither team's form suggests they can do anything to climb up the table.

Askatasuna FC, however, plugged a hole in its fast sinking ship, as they earned their first point since Matchday 26, by earning a point at home against Umbazi Metropolitan SC. Umbazi, of course, scored in the 58th minute, and had a 1-0 lead. They went to defend, and Askatasuna FC started to battle. Their backs were up against the wall- in danger of losing their 8th in a row, they had to push. Pouring men and numbers forward, into the box, they tried to hack away at the Umbazi defense. However, this team's veterans stepped up. With their goalkeeper, Hakim Gussa, up for a corner kick in the first minute of stoppage time, Gussa headed what seemed to be a long ball back across the box. As he turned around to try and sprint back to his goal, Melku Atikem was there to head the ball home. A massive point, that left them just a single point behind Bwubanza City SC in the standings. No wild celebrations- but a wide feeling of relief, as we saw manager Protesilaus Soter smile for the first time in what seemed like forever. He, somehow, still has his job- and while his legacy at the club is forever tarnished for his sale of Chibuzo Afolayan, he doesn't want to be remembered for being the first team to ever get relegated from the BSL either.

Bwubanza City Soccer Club went out, losers of 10 in a row, to try and plug the hole in their own sinking ship, this extremely young squad. Their goal came from captain David Bzuayehu, heading a ball home in the 37th minute, to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Their defense played well, their midfield held the ball, and the feeling was that they could hold on for the victory. But, a foolish foul by teenager Mazi Chinweuba changed all of that. In the 86th minute, Rukunbi FC had a free kick from just 21 yards, a dangerous spot. Addis Medr took it and struck gold, as Rukunbi FC tied the game at 1 late. But they weren't done. Bwubanza City SC, of course, extremely young, began to feel the walls closing in on them. They had worked so hard to maintain this lead for 86 minutes- and then this? Rukunbi FC, like a shark, smelled blood in the water, and went in for the kill. And in the 89th minute, Uchea Chuks was whistled for a handball. He was somehow only given a yellow- but still, a penalty. Amanuel Bsrat calmly buried the penalty, and that's when the chaos started at Bwubanza City Park.

Fans were angry and disgusted- they were turning on their team. When they final whistle blew, they began to liter the field with everything- food, beer, flares, everything. The Bwubanza City SC players had to be whisked off the field, to be protected from their own fans, whose frustration was boiling over. The police had to be called in- we imagine there will be some sort of punishment from the Royal Banijan Soccer Association here, though at this stage of the season, its effect will be amplified. And with their terrible form right now, Tessema Negasi, their manager, has been fired after his 11th loss in a row- and have hired Motuma Essayas, Mark Grayson's predecessor at the Phoenix, who hasn't coached in two seasons, to try and do whatever it takes to right this ship.

And now, let's look at the race at the top of the table. It was a great weekend for fans of Busukuma Athletic Club. They continued their focused march towards the championship. Istria City FC, with their 1-1 draw, are pretty much out of the title conversation now with their draw. Busukuma Athletic Club also drew, however, meaning that Jinja City FC, on Sunday, had a golden opportunity to make up ground in the title race. However, the Hoima Warriors stepped up here and had a big win- a 1-0 victory for Jehan Blair's side over the Hoima Warriors, that would create a four point gap at the top of the table for Busukuma Athletic Club over Jinja City FC. A stunning win, the Warriors were tight and compact, as there was massive turnout in this stadium that flocked to see another big Warriors win. Their struggles of recent years, failing to perform against the big teams, seem to be turning into a thing of the past? It's been a while since we've seen this kind of excitement in Hoima, but their squad is performing as of late.

Elsewhere around the league, the race for fourth place took a turn. Herzegovina CIty FC earned all three points in a big, 3-0 home victory over Dukuma Soccer Club. To replace Lucas Lucius Vit for the last five games, however, they signed Moravica Regional Academy star Omar on a six week contract. They moved Jackson Oglobelo from LAM to CAM, and put Omar on the left side. The youngster starred in his top flight debut for the defending champions, scoring once and assisting once in their 3-0 victory on this matchday. Kitara Athletic Association, however, could not keep pace, falling 3-1 at home to the Force. That creates, now, a 5 point gap between fifth and fourth that will be tough for Kitara AA to try and bridge over the last four games.

Mynda Electra 2–1 Askatasuna FC
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Bwubanza City SC
Rukunbi FC 4–5 Hoima Warriors
Jinja City FC 2–5 Kitara AA
Busukuma Force 0–0 Herzegovina Phoenix
Lakiska SC 0–0 Lwanga Lions

Busembe Timberwolves 0–1 Busukuma Athletic Club
Aissa United FC 1–3 Istria City FC
Isipongo Flash 1–3 Herzegovina City FC
Dukuma SC 1–3 Umbazi Metropolitan SC


This weekend was another good day for Busukuma Athletic Club, in terms of the title race. Their main rivals in the title race, Jinja City FC, slipped again. Kitara Athletic Association visited Jinja City, and came away with a stunning, massive, 5-2 away victory. Kitara Athletic Association dominated every aspect of that matchup- Flip Kollias had his team ready to play, because he knew that, to close the five point deficit with Herzegovina City FC, the time was now to step up, regardless of who they were playing- even Super 5 club Jinja City FC, in their own stadium. Kitara AA was up 2-0 at halftime, and they were dominating in every fashion, being up 4-0 after 65 minutes. Jinja City FC managed to score two consolation goals for themselves, but Kitara Athletic Association added a fifth in the 88th minute. They dominated in every fashion of the game, and they may have slammed the door, for all intents and purposes, on Jinja City's title hopes this season.

Istria City FC won on their trip to Aissa United FC, keeping them in the title race, but considering Jinja City FC's having everything go completely wrong against Istria City FC, this seemed to more cement their status in the top four, and a probable UICA Globe Cup appearance, as opposed to climbing up the table in terms of the title race. Busukuma Athletic Club, on Sunday, went on the road, to Busembe and won, 1-0, against the Timberwolves- it was the captain, Toyuwa Sall, who scored the goal in the 34th minute that was enough for Busukuma Athletic Club to take, yet another, massive step towards the top of the table. That means, of course, with three games left in the season, Busukuma Athletic Club has opened a 7 point lead on second place Jinja City FC, and an 8 point lead on 3rd place Istria City FC, with every other team in the league mathematically eliminated in terms of the title race. The fans, of course, are getting excited- their home game next Friday, against Lakiska SC, the golden opportunity to win the league.

In the race for fourth place, of course, Herzegovina City FC took another step forward, themselves, in earning a 3-1 away victory over the Isipongo Flash. The Flash, finally punished for early season violence in a home game, had to played the game in front of closed doors- the second straight season the RBSA has issued that punishment to a team. Herzegovina City FC took advantage of the lack of atmosphere, and naturally, dominated the matchup. A pair of strikes from Ennis Leishmann, with another from Aaron Aiza, allowed the defending champs to keep the five point gap between themselves and Kitara Athletic Association at the top of the table. Omar, once again, starred for the squad, assisting on both of Leishmann's goals in Isipongo. And with only three games left in the season- even with Kitara's dispatching of Jinja City FC- they are getting hot, at the right time.

And lastly, around the league, the Hoima Warriors won a thriller with Rukunbi FC, 5-4 away from home. It was a stunning game- so many goals, so many chances, what a wild game. John Katumba, the 38 year old captain who is possibly in his final season, scored the winner in the 88th, and the team mobbed their longtime captain and team leader in the corner when he did so. Only so many games left, what a way for him to make the most of it. Motuma Essayas debut at Bwubanza City SC did not go as planned, as the team's play certainly improved on the field, but they fell, 1-0, to Bunyoro RSC. It was a tough ask to get a point there- but fortunately, for them, Askatasuna FC fell on Friday night, to Mynda Electra, so they didn't lose any ground in the table. Still, just a slim, one point lead for the sliding squad from Bunyoro- can they rescue themselves at the death?

Busukuma Athletic Club 3–0 Lakiska SC
Askatasuna FC 1–0 Dukuma SC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 4–1 Isipongo Flash
Herzegovina City FC 3–1 Aissa United FC
Istria City FC 2–2 Busembe Timberwolves
Lwanga Lions 4–2 Busukuma Force
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–0 Jinja City FC
Kitara AA 1–0 Rukunbi FC
Hoima Warriors 2–4 Bunyoro RSC
Bwubanza City SC 1–2 Mynda Electra


And here was the opportunity! Friday night, playing at Johnson Field, filled to capacity- Busukuma Athletic Club presented with the opportunity to earn their first ever BSL title. Lakiska SC, of course, would be their opponents, as the crowd on this day was absolutely and utterly deafening. And the side from the nation's capitol did not waste any time. All eyes, of course, were on them, as the only Friday game, and they did not disappoint. In a game like this, with this much at stake, the pressure could have gotten to them, they could have played with fear, they could have been intimidated. However, Ferran Rey, once again, got the most out of his squad. They were confident. They were excited at the opportunity. They played fearlessly, and had one of their best performances of the season. Alex Sandoval scored just 8 minutes in, to give the team the lead. Ansu Cisse scored in the 42nd minute, and that seemed to kill off the match. Alanso Tamba added a third in the 67th minute, and the capitol side kept their clean sheet.

When the final whistle blew, 3 minutes after the clock had hit 90, the arena exploded. Busukuma AC players sprinted onto the field, in celebration of their first ever league title. Ferran Rey hugging players, and Randolf Cherry, the commissioner, applauding the team after the game. They brought the trophy onto the field, and Randolf Cherry handed it off to Toyuwa Sall- who raised it up high as the celebrations went on into the night. Capitol fans were ecstatic. Bars were popping, fan clubs were throwing parties, the streets were containing a lot of excitement as the capitol's biggest club finally captured their first BSL title, and got the monkey off of their back. Champagne was brought out, and it was being sprayed everywhere, as the party went on and on in celebration of this historic moment. After toil for years, they can finally call themselves champions. What a journey, what a campaign, for Busukuma Athletic Club.

On the weekend, of course, Istria City FC and Jinja CIty FC, punched their tickets to the UICA Globe Cup with draws against the Busembe Timberwolves, and Herzegovina Phoenix, respectively. Quality performances from both Istria City FC and Jinja City FC, and they punched deserved tickets back to the UICA. The fourth spot, of course, is yet to be decided- Herzegovina City FC and Kitara Athletic Association both won, again, and that means Herzegovina City FC will maintain its five point gap for fourth place ahead of Kitara Athletic Association. Just two points, of course, in their last two games, and they will be able to clinch a berth, once again, in the UICA Globe Cup- what will be their fourth consecutive UICA appearance, a record matched across the same period of time by both Jinja City FC and Busukuma Athletic Club. Brian Emerson's squad seems to have enough in them to hold off the challengers from the Kitara region, but in a season like this, who really knows?

At the bottom of the table, there was a major twist. Askatasuna FC, for the first time since Matchday 26, actually managed to win a game. The early game Saturday, they had a 1-0 victory over Dukuma Soccer Club, a team without the greatest history of success in the Banijan Soccer League. Their first win in seemingly forever, took them out of the cellar for the first time in seemingly forever, meaning that, they now had 21 points on the season, instead of just 18. Importantly, that put them just 2 points ahead of Bwubanza City Soccer Club, who lost, at home, to Mynda Electra. That changes the script for their massive game, next week, when they pay a visit to Bwubanza City, in primetime, on Sunday night. Just two points ahead in the standings, a victory for Askatasuna FC would see them be the last team in the BSL to clinch safety- and cause Bwubanza City SC to be the first team to be relegated.

Bwubanza City's loss on this matchday was their 13th in a row. Motuma Essayas, their new manager for the final four games of the season, said that this "group of kids" would have a tough time trying to fight relegation, and that a roster built without a heavy presence of veterans had an even deeper challenge to try and climb out of a hole like the one they've dug themselves in to. They will have everything to play for next Sunday, as they will be forced to go for a win as that is their second last game of the season. They will need a victory to climb out of the cellar, and that, of course, will be their best opportunity- if Askatasuna FC wins, they are safe, and if Bwubanza City SC wins, then they will be put in an excellent position to be safe, despite them having 2 wins and 19 losses in their last 21 league games, a stunningly pathetic record. We'll see, next week, if Motuma Essayas can put it all together when they play at Bwubanza City Park for what is certainly the game of the season for both teams participating.

Mynda Electra 1–1 Hoima Warriors
Bunyoro RSC 1–0 Kitara AA
Rukunbi FC 1–6 Herzegovina Phoenix
Jinja City FC 4–2 Lwanga Lions
Busukuma Force 0–3 Busukuma Athletic Club
Lakiska SC 0–1 Istria City FC
Busembe Timberwolves 0–4 Herzegovina City FC
Aissa United FC 1–0 Umbazi Metropolitan SC
Isipongo Flash 3–1 Dukuma SC
Bwubanza City SC 0–4 Askatasuna FC


With Bunyoro RSC's 1-0 victory over Kitara Athletic Association, they were able to punch Herzegovina City FC's ticket to the UICA Globe Cup, as the victory for Bunyoro RSC ensured that Herzegovina City FC would finish in the top four, and could not be caught from behind. Interestingly enough, that means, on Saturday morning of the second last week of the season, the league title race was decided, and all three of the BSL's UICA spots had been determined. The race, of course, was now for pride between those three clubs- who would finish second, who would finish third, who would finish fourth? In the grand scheme of things, it means pride is at stake, but not much else for these top four squads, one of whom had already won the title, and the other three now punching their tickets to the UICA Globe Cup.

Busukuma Athletic Club played with the confidence and energy of champions, as they crushed the Busukuma Force in the capitol city derby, winning the return leg by a score of 3-0. Their offensive play was emphatic, their defense and midfield were suffocating, and now, they are playing with the confidence and excitement of a team that they know is about to enter their first ever UICA Champions Cup next summer. Toyuwa Sall, the captain, in likely his last appearance in the derby, scored twice in the first half to give the newly crowned champions the lead, and Alanso Tamba scored the final goal in the 83rd minute to round out the day for the champs. An emphatic win, they know that they will go into the offseason with lots of confidence- though, of course, a loud reminder that they will likely have to at least find a replacement for Toyuwa Sall, who is looking like he will retire.

What else happened on this day? Herzegovina City FC, with another strong finish to the season, won, 4-0, away from home against the Busembe Timberwolves. Omar, the Razenthurian youngster, scored twice himself on this matchday, giving himself a couple of more goals on what has been a emphatic showing in his brief time in the BSL. The youngster is looking like a great future player in the Banijan Soccer League, as he has a unique combination of pace, of power, and of proficiency, that can truly lead him to stardom. It's only been four games, of course- what would happen over the course of a full, 38 game season? But, all in all, a great couple of weeks for Omar, who is turning heads across the league and will likely look to be signed by a number of sides in the BSL following the end of the season.

Lastly, of course, there was the game of the week- Bwubanza City Soccer Club, hosting Askatasuna FC. Everything on the line for the two teams in the last two places in the table. A victory could mean everything for either side. And Askatasuna FC came out, and absolutely dominated the young squad from Bwubanza City. In front of their home fans, Bwubanza City Soccer Club couldn't do anything. Passes were slow, the runs were poor, the shots were poor, the defending was sloppy and the team was undisciplined. Askatasuna FC, with some confidence after their win last week, blew the doors off of the hosts and condemned them to the regional leagues, starting next season. Martin Lucey scored in the 4th minute, while Alulawe Ju scored in the 18th and 29th minutes, to give the team a 3-0 lead a half hour into the game. They were flying everywhere, and not only was this their best game of the season- it was their best game in a number of seasons, to clinch their spot in safety.

In the second half, an own goal by Chizoba Uwaezuoke put the fourth goal on the board for Askatasuna FC, and after a long, hard, and tough season, the team looked incredibly relieved- not a good season by any means, but cliniching safety at the end of the season like this is never a bad thing. And, of course, Bwubanza City Soccer Club has now, officially, hit rock bottom. Motuma Essayas, who coached just three games to try and turn Bwubanza City SC around, simply couldn't get the job done. He resigned immediately after the game, as Bwubanza City Soccer Club was now confirmed to be playing in the regional leagues next season. That means his assistant, Kylian Markagongo, will be the team's interim manager for their last game of the season, a trip to Hoima. There will be much soul-searching for this squad, as the pain will be felt by being the first team to be relegated in Banijan history, and in this stunning fashion.

Askatasuna FC 0–1 Isipongo Flash
Dukuma SC 0–0 Aissa United FC
Umbazi Metropolitan SC 0–1 Busembe Timberwolves
Herzegovina City FC 2–0 Lakiska SC
Istria City FC 2–0 Busukuma Force
Busukuma Athletic Club 2–2 Jinja City FC
Lwanga Lions 0–1 Rukunbi FC
Herzegovina Phoenix 0–1 Bunyoro RSC
Kitara AA 0–2 Mynda Electra
Hoima Warriors 4–1 Bwubanza City SC


Interestingly enough, this was one of, if not the singular, least eventful final days of all time. Everything of note was wrapped up in the last two weeks- Busukuma AC won the league on Matchday 36, Jinja City FC & Istria City FC punched their tickets to the Globe Cup on the same weekend, while Herzegovina City FC punched their ticket a week later, on Matchday 37. And, of course, last week, Bwubanza City SC completely fell apart, losing 4-0 at home in the game the mattered the most to their chances to stay in the Banijan Soccer League, and in just their second week all season at the bottom of the table, they confirmed that they would end the season as the worst team in the BSL. With all those races wrapped up, the games being played on this matchday were seemingly for the sake of it.

For players and coaches, however, these games always matter. Your last chance to prove yourself, before the transfer window. Prove your own worth to your team, so that you don't get replaced. Prove your own worth to those in your country, if you are contending for a spot on the national team. Prove your worth to teams abroad, if they are scouting here, before the transfer window happens. Players know what is at stake- that's why they go hard even in a week where seemingly all ten games are "meaningless"- while some games are obviously more important than others- Herzegovina City FC facing a regional league side in the RBSA Cup, for example, is less important than their Champions Cup group stage matches, all games mean something.

Who impressed on the day? Omar, again, stepped up for his new club, as he finished his 5 match cameo with another pair of assists. He was prolific during the five game period with Herzegovina City FC, though Brian Emerson, the squad's manager, said that it was "unlikely" that Omar would get a long term contract with the club, though he said that there were multiple BSL clubs enquiring about his availability to them within the transfer window. He said that he was extremely confident that Omar would be playing in the BSL somewhere next season, he simply wasn't sure where. The Hoima Warriors were the last team to deliver the hammer to Bwubanza City Soccer Club, as they won, 4-1, at home.

This was, of course, Jehan Blair's last chance to impress the new ownership, as the new brass must decide on a manager they did not hire- more on that, of course, to come. The team seemed to be reinvigorated as the season went along. Their poor start to the season doomed any chances of the UICA, but big wins later on in the season, against strong opponents, have seemed to breathe life into the franchise. Will they stick with Blair, or will they want to put their own man in? And, of course, Bwubanza City Soccer Club has hit rock bottom. After a decent start to the season, where they found themselves in the lower midtable region of the standings, the team fell apart. What happened? There will be much to analyze, and much to dissect, after what is likely to be known as the most epic collapse in the history of Banijan sports to be relegated in such a way. And that is no exaggeration. They were 6 places out of relegation, 15 games into the season. Yet, after that? They earned only 2 points after Matchday 15, in a 38 game season. They finished 0-21-2(W-L-D). And to compound on that, they finished the season with the worst losing steak in the history of the BSL, losing their last 15 games in a row. After Matchday 15, not many thought they'd finish in last- it was Lakiska SC & Askatasuna FC that were unmitigated disasters- not Bwubanza City Soccer Club. It would have taken only one of the most stunning collapses of all time, and that's exactly what happened.

They will find themselves in the regional league system, starting next season. They will have to restart, and rebuild. They need a new coach, and, of course, with all of this young talent, players will certainly disperse. There are a number of BSL teams interested in the talented goalkeeper, Bobby Mikelson- only 20 years old, he was on Mercedini's Di Bradini Cup squad, and he certainly isn't looking to stay in the regional league system. Which regional league they are in, of course, is still up in the air- depending on who wins the promotion playoff, they will likely be demoted to the league of the promotion playoff champion- though if Suwawa FC, the Northwestern champs, win the promotion playoff, the RBSA is likely to place Bwubanza City SC in the Lower Coastal League, and move a team from that league to the Northwestern League. That, of course, is to ensure that Bwubanza City SC is not more than 1,000 miles away from its closest league opponent, that would be all the way in Moravica. It'd be a massive travel expense for Bwubanza City SC, who'd see their travel costs go up while their revenue goes down from no longer being in the BSL. And, of course, the extra travel costs for Northwestern League sides as well- everyone would want to avoid that. A stunning fall, an epic collapse, and now, a team that few predicted, Bwubanza City Soccer Club, will no longer be in the BSL, leaving Bunyoro RSC as the Bunyoro region's lone team in the Banijan Soccer League.

Final Banijan Soccer League Standings
Banijan Soccer League         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Busukuma Athletic Club 38 27 6 5 70 19 +51 87 - LEAGUE CHAMPIONS; CHAMPIONS CUP BERTH; AOCL BERTH
2 Istria City FC 38 24 7 7 66 26 +40 79 - UICA GLOBE CUP BERTH
3 Jinja City FC 38 24 6 8 79 26 +53 78 - UICA GLOBE CUP BERTH
4 Herzegovina City FC 38 25 3 10 70 28 +42 78 - UICA GLOBE CUP BERTH

5 Bunyoro RSC 38 20 9 9 42 26 +16 69
6 Kitara AA 38 21 4 13 52 41 +11 67 - MOST IMPROVED; VILITAN COVE INTERNATIONAL BERTH
7 Hoima Warriors 38 19 7 12 61 43 +18 64
8 Herzegovina Phoenix 38 18 8 12 65 36 +29 62
9 Umbazi Metropolitan SC 38 16 9 13 48 42 +6 57
10 Isipongo Flash 38 17 6 15 46 42 +4 57
11 Aissa United FC 38 17 5 16 42 49 −7 56
12 Mynda Electra 38 14 9 15 37 48 −11 51
13 Busukuma Force 38 13 7 18 32 56 −24 46
14 Rukunbi FC 38 13 5 20 33 53 −20 44
15 Busembe Timberwolves 38 10 11 17 35 47 −12 41
16 Lwanga Lions 38 9 10 19 31 45 −14 37
17 Lakiska SC 38 6 9 23 22 63 −41 27
18 Dukuma SC 38 6 8 24 26 74 −48 26
19 Askatasuna FC 38 6 6 26 29 72 −43 24
20 Bwubanza City SC 38 4 7 27 27 77 −50 19 - RELEGATED


Looking back at our Season Preview...

With the season at a close, it is time to look back at our Season 7 Preview- what we got right, what we got wrong, in terms of our overall review of Season 7 of the Banijan Soccer League. We got some things right, and we got some things wrong- we predicted the wrong champion, we overshot on the Phoenix and the Warriors while undershooting on Bunyoro RSC, Kitara Athletic Association, and Istria City FC. Even towards the bottom of the table, our preview of Askatasuna FC's season was largely correct- even if they did not get relegated. And while we didn't predict that Bwubanza City Soccer Club could possibly lose 15 in a row and 21 of their last 23 to get relegated, they did. Let's take a look at a select number of those teams where we were way off- and we'll talk about why. We'll talk about Busukuma AC, the Herzegovina Phoenix, the Hoima Warriors, and Bwubanza City Soccer Club.

Busukuma Athletic Club
Their first championship. We didn't think they had it in them- but they certainly were prepared this season to prove everybody wrong. They not only won the title, they did it with the pressure of being the leaders for much of the year, where teams were looking up at them and they were being chased. It is hard to stay at the top of the mountain for a long time- but, in terms of at least this single season, Busukuma Athletic Club certainly managed to do so. They have been at the top of the table since Matchday 17, and since that day, of course, they are getting the best shot from a number of different teams. The midtable teams, the other teams competing for a title, etc... Everybody wants to beat the league leaders- everyone wants to beat the champs. But, Busukuma AC stayed focused, stayed hungry, and ultimately, got rewarded for their performances with a trophy.

What was different about this team? This team all bought into Ferran Rey's message, and multiple players were stepping up over the course of the season. Celty O'Mercury, whose tendency to get exposed on the counter-attack made him a risky buy for Ferran Rey, who only plays with three in the back to begin with, had a wonderful debut season in Busukuma. Who remembers his game winner against the Flash, all the way back on Matchday 14? That was the highlight, but he was a solid defender. He controlled the ball well, he marked well, and was a steady presence in the box for the capitol side. He was a big part of the reason that Busukuma AC only allowed 19 goals throughout the BSL's 38 games- the best defense in the league.

Other players, of course, played well too. Ansu Cisse had an excellent season, and Alex Sandoval, in the front, caught his groove as the season was going and had an excellent first year here in the Banijan Soccer League. Alex Sandoval certainly has a future with this club, as he has become a fan favorite. This team played with inspired purpose, and it took them to new heights this season. Can they match that next season? They will have new players, as every team always does- their captain retiring, while center back Gereh Kinteh is rumored to want to go back to his hometown of Lakiska to play for Winad-Lenpi to finish out his career. This was the most consistent team in the league- very few lapses, getting better as the season went along, and they were deserved champions.

Hoima Warriors
We predicted that the Warrirors would be able to finally climb all the way back up the table, to fourth place, to get to the UICA for the first team since Season 2. However, that was not the case this season, as they finished in seventh place. However, throughout the season, while they showed flashes of their ability to get to the top four, the problems of old kept coming back to haunt them- not being able to get up for big games, slow starts to games, slow starts to the season in general.

Towards the end of the season, however, the Warriors were showing consistent signs of progress, ones that we thought we'd see earlier in the season that led us to predict them finishing in the top four. Look at Matchday 34- a huge 1-0 win over Jinja City FC, at home, that dealt probably the biggest blow to Alexander Bumba's efforts to bring the title back to Jinja City. Look at their run through the RBSA Cup- away wins in both the quarterfinals, against Mynda Electra, and the semifinals, against the Herzegovina Phoenix, were games that showed that they could perform when the push of a cup competition is in their face. If they win the RBSA Cup Final... It will be a strong message.

Ultimately, while the pieces are beginning to take shape, there are things that need to be fixed. The strike pair, Derick Mason & Andrey Soltykov, simply isn't good enough. John Katumba, their retiring captain, who is almost 40, needs to be replaced as well- not only losing a seemingly ageless wonder on the field, but a massive presence in the locker room. He was always the team leader, the face of the franchise.. Who will that be now? But their core is in their prime- Wenceslaw at center back, Marbue Owusu playing #10, with playmakers like Julian Turner, shows that this team has potential.

Of course, the ultimate question is this- what will happen to their manager? Jehan Blair didn't meet the seemingly impossible expectation of UICA or bust, but with all the ownership infighting, and the signs of life that his squad showed, he certainly has a shot of keeping his job. The Warriors are rumored to be gunning for Mark Grayson- the much hyped manager out of the other team in Herzegovina City, that worked a near miracle to get the Phoenix to the UICA last season. If they can reach an agreement to bring Mark Grayson to Hoima... It will certainly be a big play, but we imagine there are people who will want to give Jehan Blair another year.

Herzegovina Phoenix
Mark Grayson had a stunning season and a half of work with this squad. Last season, against all odds, defying all the expectations, he was able to break the Super 5 stranglehold on Banija's UICA berths, and broke his way into the top four. It was shocking- finishing ahead of the Season 5 champions, Istria City FC, the Phoenix looked to be on the up. And he had an aggressive transfer window, acquiring some talent- Orion Etzebeth to play a defensive, box to box midfielder role, Corvid Alemane, to play at striker, and Josef Lawerenz, the 19 year old winger.

The season started extremely well for the Phoenix, as they picked up where they left off from last season. After 8 games, of course, they were leading the league! But, more importantly, after Matchday 24, the team was only 2 points out of fourth place- right in the thick of things to, once again, bust the Super 5 and break into the UICA. The talent he had was playing well, and the team was strong.

Ultimately, however, at that point, everything seemed to sort of fall apart for the Phoenix. After a season and a half of overachieving, the team came back down to Earth. The season ended up being defined for the signings he didn't make, rather than the signings he did. Abram Senay, playing on the wing opposite Josef Lawerenz, who is 36 years old, looked absolutely worn down- the exhausted winger was not getting up and down the field like he used to. Gersem Markos, their goalkeeper, had a number of avoidable mistakes that cost the Phoenix. Their defense, where three members of the back four are 33 and above, looked like it, as the team got slower and slower as the slog of the season continued.

Mark Grayson is a coveted man, however- many in the BSL were extremely impressed by his ability to accomplish all that he accomplished with the Phoenix. And, of course, that means the bigger clubs are going to be gunning for him- we've mentioned Hoima. Erechtheus Condos of Istria City FC is also retiring, and they will need a manager- though we've no indications that they've made any formal expression of interest to the Phoenix or to Grayson's manager. If he goes, what will happen to his project that he's building here? That will be a question that's impossible to answer now- and that can only be answered if he, indeed, does leave for greener pastures at the start of the summer.

Bwubanza City Soccer Club
Is there more that needs to be said about them than we've already said? Losing 21 of their last 23, and the two that they didn't lose, they drew. Out of that streak, they lost their final 15 games in a row- an absolutely stunning number. They allowed 77 goals, worst in the league, and their goal difference was a round -50. The youngest team in the league clearly wasn't ready for the big leagues, and as the season went along, the team wore down and lost confidence- and with the lost confidence, they lost their form, and with the lost form, that is how you can go out there and lost 15 games in a row to end the season, including losing 4-0 to Askatasuna FC to clinch relegation, and then 4-1 to the Hoima Warriors on the final day of the season.

They will need to rebuild- while they have young talent, there are definitely a few kids who are talented enough to warrant a stay in the BSL, even if the franchise is moving down. Bobby Mikelson, the goalkeeper, is known to be coveted by teams with older goalkeepers, like Aissa United FC, for example. The team was a little bit too young- boys playing in a man's league? However you want to describe it. It was a poor job of squad building by Negassi, and ultimately, he paid the price when he got axed, and again when they got relegated. The development of all the young players on that team, we imagine, had to be stunted when such a long run of such poor form could destroy the confidence of so many. It is a shame, and they will do some serious soul searching in the regional leagues if they want to grab the ladder that 48 teams are trying to grab- to get the lone, coveted spot in the Banijan Soccer League.

Midseason Predictions- How did we do?
We'll take a look at our midseason predictions- what was right? What was wrong?

#1 The Hoima Warriors will finish ahead of Bunyoro RSC when it's all said and done - Verdict: WRONG
Bunyoro RSC finished in fifth, with 69 points, though they were not a factor for the UICA berths, like we predicted. The Hoima Warriors, however, could not be consistent throughout the course of the season, again frustrating fans who are deserving of so much more from a traditional Banijan powerhouse. Why were we wrong? Bunyoro RSC had an extremely strong start to the season under Adam Jeffreys, as well as an extremely strong finish- they were an extremely streak squad. After Matchday 8, they found themselves in second, with 17 points. And while things averaged out after that, they won their last 6 games of the season- a record that Hoima could not match.

In that last, six game winning streak, they outscored their opponents by 10 goals to 2, and put up 5 clean sheets. And while they didn't exactly go through murderer's row in their last six games, playing both Askatasuna FC and Bwubanza City SC without facing any top four clubs during that time span, you can only play who is in front of you, and a win is a win is a win. He got his team to step up and work hard, and this excellent finish, in fifth place, will give Bunyoro RSC momentum going into the offseason- something that they might need, considering the Hoima Warriors will be gearing up to pass them next season.

#2 Ambros Macris of Lakiska SC will be the first manager fired - Verdict: RIGHT
We were right about that, weren't we? It wasn't the hardest prediction. He was winless at the time when we made the prediction, and we were proven right on Matchday 19, when Lakiska SC lost by a stunning score of 8-1, meaning management had no choice. Winad-Lenpi was a brilliant hire, as they played excellently over the course of the next 12 games to be well into the safety zone by the time the final stretch of the season rolled around. Nobody misses Macris, and, of course, he was the first casualty of the relegation battle.

While a terrible start, the even worse finish by Bwubanza City Soccer Club will probably ensure that this isn't something that we will remember for years to come- though don't expect Ambros Macris to get a job in the BSL, or any top-flight league, anytime soon. And, of course, the fact that they weren't relegated. It will be remembered as the mess that Winad-Lenpi saved them from, rather than being remembered as the worst start in BSL history- which it is.

We'll talk about our 3rd prediction, about the Hoima ownership situation, later on in this article. So to prediction four...

#4 Askatasuna FC will be the team to get relegated - Verdict: WRONG
This was our team that we picked at the beginning of the season, and it is a prediction we stuck to until the end, even when Bwubanza City Soccer Club were falling apart. But even we didn't think they could fall apart as bad as they did. Askatasuna FC, of course, was picked at a time when they weren't in last place, and Lakiska SC was still winless- we said this when Askatasuna FC was in 18th place, two points out of the relegation zone. Our prediction wasn't totally off, however.

We were right that the two Islander clubs behind them at the time, Dukuma SC & Lakiska SC, would end up surpassing them. And they were not only in last place, but stayed in last place for a while... From Matchday 24 all the way until Matchday 36, when they busted a long losing streak of their own to bust out of the bottom spot in the table, and then smoked Bwubanza City at their own stadium to clinch the 19th spot in next season's Banijan Soccer League. They didn't have a great season, and definitely played poorly enough to deserve relegation- but they have Tessema Negasi to thank for that. Do you think they'll send him flowers?

#5 The end of the season will be a three horse race for the league title between Jinja City FC, Busukuma AC, and Herzegovina City FC - Verdict: MOSTLY WRONG
The title race was not as tight as we thought it would be, and it ended up being a two horse race between Busukuma AC and Jinja City FC, rather than a three horse race. Herzegovina City FC never was able to make the climb all the way to the top echelons of the league to mount a serious title challenge, though they clinched fourth place quite comfortably. We only say mostly wrong, however, because Busukuma Athletic Club & Jinja City FC both were involved in the title race, and Jinja City FC was in second when the title race was decided- even if they ended up finishing in third.

Josiah Lwanga, in a stunning move, wrests control of the Hoima Warriors from his family members and becomes the team's majority stakeholder

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Josiah Lwanga, the new majority owner of the Hoima Warriors


HOIMA- In a series of stunning business moves, Josiah Lwanga, the 51 year old grandson of the founder of the Hoima Warriors, beat his brothers and male cousins out in the race to gain a majority stake in the Hoima Warriors- he now owns 67% of the Hoima Warriors, and he owned just an 11% stake in the franchise at the beginning of the season. For once, there should be some sort of unity, as Josiah Lwanga, gaining full operational control and a vast majority stake in the team, will be able to implement his vision for the Hoima Warriors. Splash big time dollars signing players and coaches, make an impression in front of the fans, etc..

How did he do it? How was he able to wrest away control of the franchise to own 67%, rather than just 11%? Well, there were multiple reasons. The first one, was, of course, the amount of cash he could put up. He is the sole owner of the flag carrier airline of the Kingdom of Banija, Orange Sky. That, of course, makes him one of Banija's richest men. He owns other companies as well, but that is where he made his money. That meant, of course, that he was able to pay cash- his own company's stock is skyrocketing after it was announced that Banija would be co-hosting World Cup 81, with the Free Republics.

He paid cash for the stakes of both of his brothers- leaving him at 33% of the airline, with the other 67% still up for grabs. How did he get three of his cousins to sell their stakes to him? Well, it is a question- some say he leveraged political connections, some say he he was corrupt, but you cannot deny the facts- he was effective. The three cousins who sold their stakes, of course, were Andrew, Isaiah, and Kylian Lwanga. Is it no coincidence that Andrew Lwanga has suddenly appointed a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Ankole? Kylian Lwanga granted Josiah a discount, as Josiah sold his own majority stake in the Hoima Gators, of the Banijan Lacrosse League, to Kylian Lwanga- therefore making Kylian Lwanga the sole owner of the Hoima Gators?

And, lastly, there is Isaiah. He sold his own stake in the franchise, but he has now been appointed as the Vice President for Marketing at Orange Sky- the national flag carrier. It, of course, does not come with any ownership stakes, but it is a very lucrative position, indeed,. And that is how Josiah went from owning 11% of the franchise, to owning a 67% stake in one of Banija's five biggest clubs. And it is a club, indeed, that is in need of rescuing- it's been five long seasons since they've finished in the top four, and their own revenue, especially the increasingly growing foreign market growth, is taking a hit. He said that now that he controls this majority stake in the club, he is "excited to bring to Hoima what the city long deserves- championships." He responded with no comment to the rumors that he was getting ready to fire Jehan Blair and hire Mark Grayson away from the Herzegovina Phoenix.
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Founded: Mar 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:34 pm

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Banija's sole Promotion Place decided; RBSA Cup Champion crowned

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Robel Abeselome(Istria City FC, left) and Marbue Owusu(Hoima Warriors, right) get tangled up during the RBSA Cup Final


And with the end of the season in the BSL and the regional leagues, there are only just a few games left before the official end of the season! Just six games left on the Banijan calendar- both legs of the ties of the promotion playoff, the promotion playoff final, and, of course, the RBSA Cup Final. And all your coverage of those events- right here, right at home, right in Banija! And let's get to it, shall we- Banija's first ever Promotion Playoff!

Promotion Playoff Semifinals- 1st Leg
Suwawa FC 0–3 Kabakono City
Hawabark Boulders 3–1 Duntho Sporting Club


The teams, of course, were randomly drawn against each other, and who was home in the 2nd leg was also randomly chosen. The four regional league champions, of course, eligible to be chosen. The Southern League champs, the Boulders, were drawn against the Northern League champs, Duntho Sporting Club- with Duntho Sporting Club getting the second leg at their home stadium. That meant the Lower Coastal League champs, Kabakono City, were drawn against the Northwestern League champs, with Kabakono City having the second leg at home. Let the games begin, shall we?

The first game took place in Suwawa. Suwawa FC, their first regional league title since the integration of the regional leagues into the Banijan pyramid, have entered the playoff. And drawing Kabakono City, they did not get an easy opponent- Kabakono City was the one team everybody wanted to avoid. The way they thoroughly dominated their own league- finishing 19 points ahead of their closest challengers, for instance- made them a scary prospect for anyone to face, and as Suwawa FC's fans packed Crystal Road, they knew it was not going to be an easy matchup. Alan Bettles side, however, came out ready for the challenge- they weren't going to sit back at Crystal Road.

And it showed. They started putting the pressure on early, looking for a crucial away goal. They played this game as they played the entirety of their championship-winning campaign- a take no prisoners, go for the win, cut throat sort of approach. And boy, did it work. The most prolific team in the regional leagues, with 83 goals over 44 games, they added to that total on this first leg. They were keeping up the pressure, and they dominated in the first half. However, they didn't score until the 42nd minute, when Bahij Wafi Saab, an Al Qurijan international, scored a deserved goal to give his team a 1-0 lead going into the half. And, of course, the crucial away goal. Now, Suwawa FC was certainly going to amp up the pressure in the second half- who wants to get blanked, at home, in a tie like this? But the visitors held their ground, and Karafa Touray made a number of wonderful saves. Kabakono City played well on the counter, however, and essentially buried the tie- Essa Mansaré in the 79th and Abdoulaye Ouattara in the 86th to confirm it. 3-0, away from home for Kabakono City- not only does it look like they've punched their ticket to the final, but they will certainly be declared favorites.

The other tie! The Northern v. Southern League champions got set to play, with the Hawabark Boulders, the Southern League champs, playing host to Duntho Sporting Club, the Northern League champions. The Boulders are young, but they are strong. They earned 99 points over the course of the season, and they know how to win. Givoanni Falco, of the Equestrian States, is playing in net, and that country preaches excellence when it comes to goalkeeping- quite a standard for him to live up to, the Equestrian goalkeeper. But there is other talent, and with their youth, it was interesting how they would play in a pressure packed game like this. 18 year old Chinou Chydey and a 21 year old Jiba Nzuza as their center back pair, of course. The champions of the North, of course, scream experience. Mitiku Fassilidas, their 15th year manager, singing his swan song. Only one player under the age of 25. The Boulders aren't particularly young, but they have youth- while Duntho only has one player under the age of 25. Who would win this battle?

The Boulders played host to Duntho Sporting Club, with the Olympic Stadium, home to the Boulders, packed to capacity- the opportunity for promotion is, indeed, enticing. The Boulders were possession based, while Duntho Sporting Club played a swift, counter-attacking version of the sport. The game was up and down in the first half, but there were no goals. The second half was where the action happened. Lafi Kabba, the 24 year old striker, scored the opener in the 56th, watching the stadium explode as they opened a 1-0 lead. Just four minutes later, he added a second goal, this time heading home, as they opened a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute. The stadium rocking, Duntho Sporting Club needed to do something- but rattled, they would not be. 22 year old Al Qurijan international Rasim Murtaza El-Amin scored from 25 yards on a free kick, to cut the lead in half in the 72nd minute. They were down one, but, of course- that crucial away goal. They were putting players forward, trying to get an equalizer- but they committed too much. A counter in the 89th minute allowed Kabba to complete the hat trick, with an easy finish to give the Boulders a 3-1 first leg victory, and have a foot into the door of the first ever Promotion Playoff Final.

Promotion Playoff Semifinals- 2nd Leg
Kabakono City 0–2 Suwawa FC (KABAKONO CITY ADVANCE 3-2 ON AGGREGATE- SUWAWA FC CLINCHES BERTH IN SERIE B CHAMPIONS CUP
Duntho Sporting Club 0–0 Hawabark Boulders (HAWABARK BOULDERS ADVANCE 3-1 ON AGGREGATE- DUNTHO SC CLINCHES BERTH IN SERIE B CHAMPIONS CUP


With the arrival of the second leg, you would've thought that Kabakono City had everything wrapped up, right? Winning 3-0 away from home, the home leg was a formality- a way to have a final game at home, in front of the fans, before they traveled to Busukuma. But maybe the success got to their head, the way they swatted aside all comers in the Lower Coastal League, and did so again away from home in Moravica, that they let their guard down. We're not sure what did it, but what started as a lackadaisical, boring game for the entirety of the first half suddenly burst into life in the 48th minute, when Suwawa midfielder Reginius Kunst, of Cosumar, stole the ball and sent a perfect pass down the flank to Seako Mothibi, whose cross to Mompati Molatedi was headed home. The tie was now 3-1. Kabakono City still favorites, but just a little uncomfortable.

That goal breathed some life into the Suwawa FC side. They were suddenly energized- playing for pride, could they salvage something? They were quicker, they were more intent- and the tide was turning. Kabakono City was in a place where they haven't been in a very long time- on the back foot, and it seemed as if they didn't know how to deal with it. Suwawa FC was taking the initiative, and in the 64th minute, Mompati Molatedi was fouled in the box, for a penalty. Isang Khumo stepped up, and calmly took it, and all of a sudden, it was 2-0 on the day. They were like sharks smelling blood. The last 25 minutes plus stoppage were madness. They pushed, with shots from all over the place. However, Kabakono City was able to withstand the pressure, and they was a massive sigh of relief at the final whistle, as they were at serious risk of being eliminated. The mood felt somber, as players breathed sighs of relief, and they backed into the first ever Banijan Promotion Playoff Final.

The other game was the Boulders visit to Duntho Sporting Club. The game started with a massive ceremony for the longest serving active manager in the Banijan pyramid- Mitiku Fassilidas, who has been at the helm for 15 seasons. That was the only source of happiness for Duntho Sporting Club, however. The game was tight, the game was physical- the Boulders knew they came in with an advantage, a 2 goal lead, and they were not going to squander it. Duntho Sporting Club had 62% possession, but they couldn't break through the Boulders defense. It was a masterclass of a performance from their manager and their players, as they suffocated their opponents, closed off space, shut down walls, and clinched a 0-0 draw. That was enough, of course, to clinch a berth in the Promotion Playoff Final.

Of course, according to the rules of the RBSA, teams cannot compete both in the Banijan Soccer League and the Serie B Champions Cup in the same season. Which means, of course, that both Duntho Sporting Club and Suwawa FC, who have missed out on the big prize, promotion, will have officially punched their tickets to the Serie B Champions Cup.

Promotion Playoff Final
Kabakono City 0–1 Hawabark Boulders
HAWABARK BOULDERS ARE PROMOTED TO THE BANIJAN SOCCER LEAGUE; KABAKONO CITY CLINCH BERTH IN SERIE B CHAMPIONS CUP


And for the Promotion Playoff Final! Played at the Stadium of the Restoration, Kabakono City facing off against the Hawabark Boulders. Two regional heavyweights, the winner becomes the first ever team promoted to the Banijan Soccer League. Why wouldn't you be excited? Of course, they are playing on quite a stage. The floodlights were on, they were playing at a cavernous venue of the Stadium of the Restoration- the 69,000 who attended the sold out stadium were more than double the combined home stadium capacities of the two clubs, taking part.

That's how it goes when you play in the regional leagues- players simply aren't used to playing in venues of this size. And with so much at stake, the teams were, understandably, afraid to make a mistake. It made for a slow first half of play- neither team will to venture out too far, neither team really imposing its will on the game, neither team attacking success because they fear failure, because they fear making the mistake that could allow the key goal. It was clear, throughout the first half, that it wouldn't take much to separate these two teams.

It would take a moment of magic to win this game. Who would be able to do what it took to pull it off? Well, it would end up being the Hawabark Boulders. An adventurous effort from 30 yards from Momodu Touré, in the 73rd minute, was saved by the Kabakono City goalkeeper, but he was unable to catch it, forcing it out for a corner kick. A set piece- a brilliant opportunity. The ball was sent towards the front post, and 36 year old striker Idi Ndour sprinted towards the ball at the front post. Instead of smashing the header home, however, he flicked it back across the face of goal- and 18 year old center back Chinou Chydey was wide open at the back post. He headed the ball into the back of the net, and the Boulders fans exploded, as they had a 1-0 lead.

What a game- a brilliant play from the savvy veteran, and a cool finish by the teenager. The Boulders were up 1-0, and they were going to clamp down on Kabakono City for the rest of the net. Giovanni Falco had to make a particularly tough diving safe in the 85th, when he barely got fingertips to the ball- but when the final whistle blew, the Boulders went crazy. They ran onto the field, as they knew what it meant- they were promoted, and would not be participants in the best competition Banija has to offer- the Banijan Soccer League. As they ran around, Kabakono City looked dejected- they had come so far, and had an incredible season- 107 points, 83 goals scored, a 3-0 away win in the Promotion Playoff, but ultimately, they came up short. The cruelness of the playoff.

Kabakono City, of course, still have a lot to celebrate- their second straight Lower Coastal League title, their trip to the Promotion Playoff Final, and, of course, the fact that they will be full participants in the Serie B Champions Cup. But the Boulders, what an incredible run. And, of course, it saves the RBSA a headache, as well- Bwubanza City Soccer Club, the relegated team, is in Bunyoro Region, which is generally serviced by the Southern League, alongside Buganda Region. So it's just as easy as a swap- Bwubanza City Soccer Club will be able to easily participate in the Southern League, and they will stave off, at least, by a season, creating crazy travel arrangements or realignment because the team that got relegated is from a different region than the team that got promoted.

RBSA Cup Final
Hoima Warriors 0–1 Istria City
ISTRIA CITY FC ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE RBSA CUP; CLINCH BERTH IN CYGNUS CUP WINNERS CUP


And the final game of the season- the RBSA Cup Final! Two teams, of course, in their quest for glory. The Hoima Warriors, trying to win their first trophy since they won the BSL in Season 2. And Jehan Blair, of course, trying to impress his new owner and convince him that he's the right man to bring the Hoima Warriors back to the top of the mountain. And Istria City FC, who lost back to back RBSA Cup Finals in Season 4 and Season 5, are hoping that the third time is the charm to win this prestigious tournament. And, of course, this is the final game in charge for Erechtheus Condos, who is retiring after 8 seasons at the helm, who won a league title. He'd love to add a RBSA Cup title as well, wouldn't he?

Unlike the Promotion Playoff Final, when neither team attacked, none of this big league teams were intimidated by the atmosphere or the stadium's size. Both teams, Super 5 clubs, are used to large stadiums with crazy atmospheres- both teams came out to win this game. The Warriors had most of the fortune in the first half, though they could not score. Wenceslaw, a Warriors center back, headed the ball from about 8 yards on a corner kick, but only hit the post in the 32nd minute of the game. Marbue Owusu also had an opportunity on a free kick, in the 38th minute, but although he seemed to have beaten the goalkeeper, he also beat the post- curling the ball just around the post. The Warriors had some initiative, but simply could not finish.

Istria City FC came back in the second half, and started to create some opportunities of their own. Atsushi Ryu was carving up the Warriors defense- and he fired a shot in the 62nd minute from nearly point blank range, only about 10 yards, but blasted the ball over the bar, as he clearly got too excited. But all of Ryu's activity on the flank, helped. He cut in towards the center of the defense in the 75th minute, and was brought down by young center back, Kawsu Kaba, who is all of 18 years old. The referee had to show a yellow, and had no choice- a penalty was granted to Istria city FC. Girma Asmelash, the 32 year old attacking midfielder, stepped up to the ball, with a focused and determined look in his eyes. He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, and blasted the ball into the upper right hand corner- a near perfect penalty. The score was 1-0, and that is what it would finish.

It finishes a solid season for Istria City FC- second place in the league, and the champions of the RBSA Cup. And, of course, a great win for Condos, who gets to go out on top. He will ride out into the sunset, retiring- he's won the league once, he's won the RBSA Cup once, he will leave the club with an incredible legacy, and he has some big shoes to fill. And, of course, he coached in this era of Herzegovina City FC dominance- when they are the favorites to win it every year. Of course they must start planning for the future at Kabonero III Field, and as we understand, they will be in the international market for a manager, with it looking increasingly more and more likely that Mark Grayson will go to Hoima, as opposed to Istria.
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Postby Banija » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:33 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Awards

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SISONKE, KITARA- The Season 7 BSL Honors Ceremony was held this season at the Sisonke Convention Center in Sisonke, Kitara. While doing their usual awards, they added a new category- "Best Newcomer". It is an award given out to the best player who is in their first season playing in the Banijan Soccer League. It is awarded in a similar way to the MVP award and the Manager of the Year Award.

Of course, there were not many surprises on this not. The Golden Boot winner, Assefa Yitebarke, also brought home his first MVP- though in an interesting twist, there wasn't a single vote for any member of the champions, Busukuma Athletic Club. Remember, voters for these awards(besides Golden Boot & Silver Boot) are allowed to take into account all performances for the team during the season- BSL performances, RBSA Cup performances, any international club competition performances. Their whole body of work while wearing the jersey. And Aaron Aiza could not keep the Silver Boot for the third season in a row. While still prolific, scoring 24 goals this past season- a personal high for him in the BSL- he had "only" 14 assists, a personal low in the league for him. It shows what kind of standards of excellence he has set, right? But that has gone to Alanso Tamba, the up and coming winger, who was integral to the capitol side during their title run.

And, of course, for Newcomer of the year, Orion Etzebeth got the nod- while he didn't light up the stat sheet, many were pleasantly surprised with his own performances in the league, for the Phoenix. The lack of votes for Alemane is rather surprising- though while he was sizzling in the first half, he fell off in the second, scoring just 8 of his 20 goals after Matchday 19. That must have effected voting, even though he had an excellent season for the Herzegovina Phoenix. And the most interesting race, manager of the year. It did not go to the champs this year- it went to Adam Jeffreys, who brought Bunyoro RSC all the way up to fifth place, and has seemed to institute a culture change. What a season for him. The full list of awardees, including the 1st Team All-Pro, is listed below.

Top BSL Goalscorers
Rank Name Nationality Team Name Goals Scored
1 Assefa Yitebarke Banija Istria City FC 29 - WINNER OF BSL GOLDEN BOOT

2 Lin Moon Chromatika Jinja City FC 26
3 Aaron Aiza Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC 24
4 Corvid Alemane Nephara Herzegovina Phoenix 20
5 Alex Sandoval Baker Park Busukuma Athletic Club 19
6 Marbue Owusu Banija Hoima Warriors 17
6 Demetro Laterza Juvencus Umbazi Metropolitan SC 16
8 Nick Haller Baker Park Kitara Athletic Association 15
9 Noah Lamont Hill Devonta Isipongo Flash 15
10 Ennis Leishman New West Gallia Herzegovina City FC 14


BSL Assist Leaders
Rank Name Nationality Team Name Assists
1 Alanso Tamba Banija Busukuma Athletic Club 15 - WINNER OF BSL SILVER BOOT

2 Aaron Aiza Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC 14
3 Daniel Asres Banija Jinja City FC 13
4 Marbue Owusu Banija Hoima Warriors 11
5 Josef Lawerenz Equestrian States Herzegovina Phoenix 10


1st Team All-Pro - 3-4-1-2 Formation
WM = Wide Midfielder
Position     Name            Age      Nationality               Team Name            
GK Delbin Kasekende 33 Busoga Islands Herzegovina City FC - WINNER OF BSL GOLDEN GLOVE
RB Obey Chidiebere 23 Banija Bunyoro RSC
CB Wenceslaw 27 Cosumar Hoima Warriors
LB Celty O'Mercury 25 Cosumar Busukuma Athletic Club
WM Alanso Tamba 24 Banija Busukuma Athletic Club
CM Orion Etzebeth 31 Nephara Herzegovina Phoenix
CM Marbue Owusu 27 Banija Hoima Warriors
WM Ansu Cisse 29 Banija Busukuma Athletic Club
CAM Aaron Aiza 28 Equestrian States Herzegovina City FC
ST Lin Moon 28 Chromatika Jinja City FC
ST Assefa Yitebarke 25 Banija Istria City FC


MVP Voting(2 reporters per team for a total of 40 votes)
Assefa Yitebarke(Istria City FC)- 22 votes
Aaron Aiza(Herzegovina City FC)- 18 votes

Best Newcomer Voting(2 reporters per team for a total of 40 votes)
Orion Etzebeth(Herzegovina Phoenix) - 26 votes
Alex Sandoval(Busukuma AC) - 11 votes
Nick Haller(Kitara AA) - 2 votes
Corvid Alemane(Herzegovina Phoenix) - 1 vote


Manager of the Year(2 reporters per team for a total of 40 votes)
Flip Kollias(Kitara AA) - 22 votes
Adam Jeffreys(Bunyoro RSC) - 10 votes
Ferran Rey(Busukuma AC) - 5 votes
Brian Emerson(Herzegovina City FC) - 2 votes
Winad-Lenpi Xlo(Lakiska SC) - 1 vote
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
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Postby Banija » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:00 pm

The Banijan Soccer League - Season 7 Wrap Up

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And with the season over, with the Honors ceremony done and the all the games played, we present our final article on Seasion 7- the Wrap Up. Observations on last season, observations on where the league goes from here. And without further ado..

#1 Banija named World Cup Co-hosts. What does this mean for the sport in Banija?

The Kingdom of Banija has been officially named a Co-host of the World. Their joint bid, of course, with the Free Republics to host World Cup 81 was successful- 11 votes for the Banija/FFR bid, and 8 votes for the V for Victory Bid. This, of course, is a historic moment for Banijan Soccer, and particularly, what a moment for Adama Sowe. The RBSA Chairman, coming in after reorganization of the RBSA which saw them not even enter into World Cup 78 Qualifying entirely, has had an ambitious plan for Banijan soccer, and was given a three cycle contract to fill out. It has been wildly successful, even beyond his own wildest dreams. The Banijan Soccer League, after being a joke internationally, are flying up the UICA rankings, and with a good performance in this upcoming season, they could get a critical second Champions Cup spot- the financial implications of which would be massive.

The national team has seen massive improvement. Just an up and coming team before, they entered a Di Bradini Cup and earned a bronze medal, showing that the talent pipeline in Banija is, indeed, rich. And, of course, the national team qualifying for World Cup 80- in stunning fashion, of course. He has made quality decisions, from bringing men like Randolf Cherry into the Banijan soccer system, to helping unify the soccer community, and even helping convince owners to implement promotion and relegation within the Banijan Soccer League. They co-hosted the last Baptism of Fire, and now, they will have an opportunity to be the stage for the multiverse's most prestigious sporting event- the World Cup Finals.

What does this mean for the league? Not much, if we're to be honest. With no World Cup Qualification campaign, however, players performances for their clubs will factor even more heavily in the decision making onto who Marcus Waters brings onto his World Cup 81 squad. And this isn't any World Cup, either- it's on home soil. We imagine some of the older players, who otherwise would likely be retiring, will be attempting to win a spot on the national team, for the rare possibility of being able to play in a World Cup on home soil. And with the RBSA confirming that 8 different stadiums within Banija will get matches, we imagine that there will be a lot of renovations and expansions and various stadium work, as cities work with clubs to try and get World Cup matches. Which, of course, is good for the development of the sport in the country- isn't it?

#2 The Coaching Carousel begins

The coaching carousel was always going to be chaotic, with the number of coaches that we had retiring this season. Erechtheus Condos of Istria City FC, Protesilaus Soter of Askatasuna FC, Flip Kollias of Kitara Athletic Association, and Zemenfes Nataye of the Busembe Timberwolves all announced, before the season, that they would be retiring at the season's end. And after the season, Tibebu Eyoel of the Busukuma Force announced his retirement- a quarter of the league's managers retiring. That is five different teams that are going into the offseason without a manager, who must jump on the coaching carousel and find a manager, from somewhere, to replace them.

The Hoima Warriors, of course, kickstarted the carousel this offseason by firing Jehan Blair, in a controversial move- and moving quickly to snap up Mark Grayson from the Herzegovina Phoenix. He has had an excellent two seasons there, with a shocking UICA appearance before his team seemed to wear down towards the end of this season. It is said that they gave him a 20% raise- Josiah Lwanga is really putting money into this team. The Warriors, of course, are a team that expects to be competing for titles all the time, but they haven't been in the title discussion since they won it in Season 2- all that long time ago. This, of course, is a seriously big move- and it means the Phoenix will be the sixth team looking for a manager this offseason. There are names popping up all over the place, of course, but the teams are waiting for the international manager market to kick open before starting their hiring processes.

#3 All eyes on Hawabark- are the Boulders capable of competing, over the course of a full season, with BSL squads? Can they stay up?

And with the first ever Promotion Playoff, the Hawabark Boulders are the primary beneficiaries of the decision to add promotion/relegation to the Banijan Soccer League. The Boulders, of course, have had success since the regional leagues joined the pyramid. Season 1 of the Regional Leagues, they earned a 1st place finish, and while they didn't match it in Season 2, they won it this past season- and then, of course, won the Promotion Playoff by playing the sport in a gutsy way. They deserve to be in the BSL, and the Olympic Stadium will be making its debut in the top flight.

Of course, now that the team is ready for the top flight, they now have to do the much more difficult part- staying in the top flight. Of course, as the first ever team promoted, they are naturally the betting favorites to go down to the lower division. They will have to add some talent if they want to compete and avoid the fate of many teams before them, playing in countries all over the multiverse- experiencing the joy of promotion, and then immediately getting sent back down.

It will be a little bit easier here than in the rest of the multiverse though- only one team gets relegated each season. What will they try to do? They've made an international signing before, when they scouted Giovanni Falco from the Equestrian States, so it's not like they don't have that prepared. We imagine the Buganda side will be searching for talent- they won't grab any headliners, but scrappy players, players who have an us against the world mentality, players who are mentally tough enough to fight a relegation battle. It will be a different experience- instead of playing in in their league's biggest stadium, they will be the BSL's smallest stadium- playing regularly in front of crowds of 10 to 15,000, to playing regularly in front of crowds in excess of 40,000, and even more. They will have to face the pressure- but we'll see what kind of signings Alaji Senghore makes to deal with this new kind of pressure.

#4 The Internal Transfer Market- What to expect?

Of course, the international transfer market is always going to be the one that gathers headlines, for obvious reasons. But the internal transfer market is something that should absolutely be watched as well. What players will be switching teams within the pyramid? What regional league players will be signed by a BSL side? Who will be highly sought after, who will be highly coveted?

A player to watch is Josef Lawerenz. He will be 20 years old at the start of the next season- extremely young. He has been noticed in the Equestrian States, starting in the most recent Di Bradini Cup for them. He has been in the Banijan Soccer League for three seasons, and has generally impressed, with 10 assists each of the last two seasons. However, he has had a lot of instability. He has played for three different teams- Bwubanza City Soccer Club in Season 5, the Lwanga Lions in Season 6, and now, the Herzegovina Phoenix in Season 7. The young winger is garnering attention, but continuously switching teams and coaches cannot be good for a player's development.

With Mark Grayson headed to Hoima, the question will be posed to him again- will he move for the fourth consecutive offseason, or will he stay? The Phoenix, of course, don't have a manager yet, and that manager's plans will be an important factor in the plans of Josef Lawerenz. Mark Grayson is rumored to be heavily recruiting members of the Phoenix squad to join him in Hoima- Corvid Alemane, as soon as Grayson was hired by Hoima, publicly announced his commitment to stay in purple. Orion Etzebeth, of course, has been silent- that will be an interesting situation to watch as Mark Grayson tries to build a winner in Hoima.

#5 International Transfer Market- What to expect?

And, of course, the international transfer market. It's really hard to give a preview of what this will look like at this point in time- a lot of the end of season wrangling has not started yet, and players generally haven't announced their availability on the international market, either as a free transfer or players that are going to be sold. That said, we can take a look at what Banijan teams will be looking for.

Herzegovina City FC, naturally, will be looking for a pair of central midfielders- both Elias Abate and Boimah Ba are getting up there in years, as next season they will be 36, and 37, respectively. Boimah Ba is seriously considering retirement altogether, while Abate wants at least one more season- but their futures will not be in Herzegovina City. They need some younger talent in the Moravican capitol to play centrally, and we expect them to look internationally, as Brian Emerson is known for being aggressive in the transfer market.

They will not be the only ones looking for talent. Mark Grayson heading to Hoima means, of course, they will be looking for players all across the board- not that they will clean house entirely, but we should say- the only players that are safe are Wenceslaw and Marbue Owusu. Teams like Busukuma Athletic Club, who are the champs, will be looking to get better as they venture into their first ever foray into international club competition. And, of course, teams like Istria City FC and Jinja City FC are always looking to get some extra big guns.

Look for Jinja, particularly, to be aggressive on the transfer market- they want to bring that title back to Jinja City, at whatever cost it may be. They will, at least, be adding a goalkeeper. Expect Busukuma Athletic Club to look abroad for the replacement of Toyuwa Sall, the longtime captain and frontman for the capitol side. And, of course, more and more teams will look to be aggressive there, though you'll have to have some money- teams like Mynda Electra, teams like Bunyoro RSC, will expect to compete on that transfer market, while a squad like Rukunbi FC, for example, is unlikely to make an international signing.

#6 UICA- where does the BSL stand?

The Banijans have been making strides in UICA and other international club competitions over the past few years, and it shows. The last three seasons, they have flown up the UICA league rankings. After the season that included the 69th Champions Cup, the BSL was ranked 114th out of 124 associations- not in a great place. But then the next season, of course, they flew 50 spots up the rankings, to 64th. Not great, but respectable, and quite a jump at once. That, of course, included Corizova United qualifying for the Serie B Champions Cup group stages, though the Serie B Champions Cup games, of course, do not count in terms of the ranking.

And with last season's run by Herzegovina City FC to the group stage's of international soccer's premier competition, the Champions Cup, they are now ranked 44th- just 12 spots away from the 32nd slot, which, of course, will allow them to put a second team into the Champions Cup. They are tantilzingly close, and yet, this must be understood- the higher you climb, the harder it is to keep moving up- moving the 12 slots from 44th to 32nd, in one season, will be a tough ask.

What must happen for that to happen? At least, there must be one Banijan team in the group stages of a UICA competition to have a fighting chance. It's hard to estimate, of course, because leagues are ranked against each other. But, if the BSL gets two teams in the group stages of the Globe Cup/Champions Cup, then they will have a legitimate argument for that second Champions Cup spot starting next season. If they do not, it is still possible- but unlikely.

Who then, has the best chance? Draws, of course, have to be made- it's hard to guess without knowing who is playing who. But Herzegovina City FC and Jinja City FC have traditionally had the most success out of Banijan clubs, and they will look to be the standard bearers. Busukuma Athletic Club are the champs, yes, but Busukuma Athletic Club also tends to struggle in UICA competition. If they could emulate Herzegovina City FC's magical run last summer, that would do wonders for the BSL, but considering their historical struggles in UICA competition, we find that unlikely.

#7 How does the lack of a qualification campaign impact the league?

With Banija named as the co-hosts for World Cup 81, they will, of course, not be participating in World Cup Qualifying. It creates a unique set of challenges for Marcus Waters, when it comes to creating a squad. The RBSA has already confirmed that the Kadongo Kamu will be playing probably six to nine matches, all on home soil, during the World Cup Qualification campaign, to prepare the team and allow Marcus Waters to see his players. Of course, it's not 18 matches, and it's different- you only see them in front of their home fans, though of course, that is what will happen at the World Cup Finals. Less games though, of course, means less opportunities to shine for fringe players.

This means a number of different things for the BSL. First, of course, it means that fringe BSL players have less of a chance of making the Banijan national team for World Cup 81. Simply put, less chances to impress. He will try to see his second team and fringe players, of course, but he needs to make sure that the first team is ready- some teams play between 20-25 matches that go to the World Cup, including friendlies, over the course of the cycle. The Banijan team could play as few as six.

How else will this impact the league? To be frank, it likely won't outside of that- we've talked about how stadium investment will rise between now and the World Cup Finals, but yea, this won't have a massive impact on the league itself.

OOC: Thanks for following the BSL this season! Please give me feedback and take my quick League Poll to help me improve!
Last edited by Banija on Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. National Trophy Cabinet.
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Banija
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Posts: 2341
Founded: Mar 06, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Banija » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:09 pm

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RBSA release necessary improvements report to prepare to co-host World Cup 81

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Members of the RBSA greet each other entering conference


BUSUKUMA, NATIONAL CAPITOL REGION- The Royal Banijan Soccer Association has released a report, two years out before World Cup 81, detailing various infrastructure and other improvements that the nation needs to make to successfully co-host World Cup 81. Of course, the nation has hosted big tournaments before with lots of nations- from co-hosting the silver edition of the International Basketball Championships, to hosting World Bowl 34, to hosting two consecutive editions of the World Lacrosse Championships, and other sporting tournaments, as well as the 67th Baptism of Fire, the nation is certainly capable of putting on an international show. However, a World Cup is a different story entirely. With the multiverse's largest nations competing for the most prestigious trophy in all of sports, officials estimate that there will be nearly 2-3 million visitors between one month prior to the World Cup's opener and one month after the World Cup Final- a massive number.

Of course, there ways always the promise that Banija would work to build, to improve itself. One massive, major partner in helping Banija make the kind of improvements necessary to successfully co-host World Cup 81 is, of course, the Republic of Eshan. The massive superpower from the opposite side of Atlantian Oceania, there are deep business ties between Eshan and Banija, with Banija's largest and most powerful corporation, the Regional Transit Corporation, headquartered in Rosario, Eshan, and trading on Echani stock markets. They are, of course, launching the Echani Path to Prosperity, helping nations build themselves up- and with the Isebantu, HRH Mwanga, saying that he is on board with the project idea, Banija is expected to be a primary applicant.

However, RBSA Chairman and World Cup 81 Bid Co-Chairman Adama Sowe said that he was confident that Banija would give the multiverse 'the greatest show it's ever seen'. "Our country is ready to host World Cup 81." Said Adama Sowe. "We are a sporting power, and we have hosted a number of tournaments in a number of sports- our potential is there. The World Cup is a tournament unlike any other, and with multiple millions of visitors expected in our country, it is reasonable to expect to have to invest that this tournament goes smoothly. However, this will easily pay itself back. WE are expecting upwards of two million visitors- who will come to Banija, see our customs, see our way of life, and inject a massive number of shillings into our economy. Our World Cup is budget friendly, as much of our stadia is built. These infrastructure improvements, that the state will get financing for, will be long-term investments- airport improvements, train route expansions, etc.. Will be helping ordinary, everyday Banijans for many years to come, beyond the spector of World Cup 81."

The report was a 47 report- listing detailed reports, and going into specifics. Some big news from the report, of course, is that four of eight Banijan host cities have been chosen by the RBSA. These four, of course, were near locks. Star Field, in Herzegovina City, has been confirmed to host World Cup games. The eventually rebuilt Stadium of the Restoration, in our nation's capitol, will host World Cup games- with bidding for a contract to go out to the multiverse relatively soon to fund that project. That stadium, of course, will host the World Cup opening match, and the new stadium will have a capacity of at least 80,000- 11,000 above its current capacity. And BCEL Stadium, sponsored by the beverage company from Baker Park, the BSL's newest stadium, built before the World Cup, was named.

The Istria region, interestingly enough, was named only as a region. The city is Banija's largest, a city of three million people with a large international population and, of course, Banija's largest airport- it is guaranteed to host games. However, there are multiple stadiums that could host a World Cup match. Kabonero III Field, the favorite, seats 48,000. Eastern Stadium hosted games in the Baptism of Fire, and that seated 37,000- but Rukunbi FC owners said getting capacity to the minimum 40,000 would be 'simple'. There is, of course, a few out of the box ideas in the region. Liberty Stadium has hosted a NSCF championship game, and seats 72,000- but, of course, it is a dome, which makes it unlikely to host a game. And, lastly, there is Istria Lightning Yard, the college football stadium that sits 90,000+- however, that is seen as the longest shot of them all, as nobody wants to play a World Cup game in a stadium not built for the sport.

However, those are the only four cities that are named- Jinja City, Istria, Herzegovina City, and Busukuma. Four other cities will get games- which ones? We will have to find out. But now, back to the improvements. What kind of improvements need to be made? Many improvements suggested in the report, of course, were infrastructure-based- the need to improve train connections, to improve airports, to improve boda boda usage, etc... Anything to help absorb the 2-3 million visitors that are expected to hit Banija's shores the summer of World Cup 81. The report, of course, included cost estimate ranges. We have pulled the executive summaries of each report and put it into today's edition.

1. Airport Connection
The country currently has two international airports- the Capitol Region International Airport in Busukuma, and Istria International Airport in Istria. We recommend the temporary adjustment of status of the Hangaza Central Regional Airport, which currently serves Jinja City, to international airport status for the World Cup Time frame- as defined as 30 days before the opening match, to 30 days after the World Cup Final. We believe this will help prevent congestion at the two major international airports on the coast, as millions of people arrive in the country in a short time.

We recommend that the government, at all international airports, increase staff by 50% for the World Cup Time frame- to expedite the arrival of travelers within the country. We also recommend that the private international airport, the Royal International Airfield, in Busukuma, currently used for diplomatic purposes only, be allowed to be used for the arrival of essential personnel into the country- specifically, teams and staffs, and essential personnel from the host committee, as well as the World Cup Committee.

We recommend that the government work on the expansion of Istria International Airport, the country's busiest airport. We recommend that the government add two gates and a runway, for added capacity of planes flying in and out of the country for the duration of the Finals.

2. Train Connection
We recommend that the government invest in the establishment of high speed rail routes, to be launched during the World Cup and made permanent for after the Finals. We recommend that the government ensure that high speed rail routes from each host city can go directly to at least one international airport within the country. We further recommend that, if the government deems it possible and affordable, to try and connection each host city with each other via high speed rail.

We recommend that the government work with international partners to modernize the country's telecommunications infrastructure. We recommend that stadiums, high speed trains, and all airports of host cities- both international and domestic- be equipped with free at access Wi-Fi.

We recommend that the government, in conjunction with local governments, establish fan zones in cities all across the country- both host cities and non-host cities- to ensure that Banijans and visitors alike can watch World Cup games on the big screen.

3. Team Base Camps
The RBSA will confirm our plan to use college campuses as team base camps throughout the duration of the 81st World Cup Finals. The Kadongo Kamu will use, of course, the RBSA Headquarters as their camp- however, the 16 foreign teams in Banija for the tournament will use their camps at universities and colleges. The RBSA will invite any school wishing to be a base camp to apply to the RBSA and, submit in detail, a plan on how your campus will be able to adequately host a World Cup squad for the duration of the World Cup Time Frame.

The RBSA, of course, after the World Cup draw, will work with the teams drawn into Banija to establish base camps. Base camps shall be awarded by the RBSA, and factors that shall be considered shall include, but shall not be limited to, geographical proximity to matches, security of campus, and ability to prevent public from intruding on team.

4. Urban Transportation- the Boda Boda
We recommend that the government print a guide for travellers on how to make use of the boda boda. We recommend the issuance of an English language guide, and we recommend that localities outside of Banija's coastal cities that will host World cup matches, like Jinja City, ensure that boda boda drivers are required to provide helmets to passengers and ensure as many boda boda drivers as possible are equipped with side cars, especially on match days, to help passengers get around their cities. WE recommend that Banija keeps the law on the boda boda ban on freeways. And lastly, to help fans recognize who is a boda boda driver, we recommend that standard issue uniforms be issued to licensed boda boda drivers for the entirety of the World Cup Time Frame.

5. Medicine
We understand that the Banijan ability to take care of athletes, is top notch. However, we must recognize that most of the multiverse does not have the same climate as our own nation- our own immunities are different to those of foreigners. Immunities built by those born in this country to diseases are not necessarily built up in other places. There are two, in particular, that must be talked about- yellow fever and malaria.

Free vaccines, of course, are being provided to all team and diplomatic personnel that travel to the country, as well as all WCC staff, FFR host committee staff, and referees. However, something must be done for the estimated two to three million fans that will enter the Kingdom of Banija. We recommend that the Kingdom of Banija invest the money to give free travel vaccines to every single traveller during the World Cup Time frame- to ensure that the tournament goes off without any kind of hitch.


Interesting and expensive recommendations, of course. No cost analysis was provided, but this is quite an expensive itinerary, especially the last bit- providing free travel vaccines at Banija's ports of entry to every traveler for the duration of the World Cup Time Frame. We'll wait and see, of course, how the government responds, and how they will get the funding to implement these recommendations, once our upcoming elections are finished.
Reigning champions of the World Baseball Classic and the Di Bradini Cup. Vice President of the World Baseball Council.
Kabaka = King
Lubuga = Queen Consort
Isebantu = Crown Prince
Waziri = Foreign Minister
Katikkiro = Prime Minister
Omugabe/Omugaba= Prince/Princess
Banija Domestic Sports
NSCF 14 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 17 CHAMPIONS(Loyola-Istria), NSCF 19 CHAMPIONS(Northern Moravica)
Sporting World Cup 8. World Baseball Classic 47. Di Bradini Cup 47. National Trophy Cabinet.
Does your country need public transit? Contact the RTC!
Want your country's unions to be represented internationally? Join the UAW!

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