DStv Diski Challenge season review

football18 May 2024 03:58| © SuperSport
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Joseph Makhanya © Gallo Images

Evangelos Vellios worked his magic to guide Stellenbosch FC to their second DStv Diski Challenge title in a record-breaking campaign, with the Winelands-based outfit inspired by new signing Thulani Mini.

In the ninth season of the Diski Challenge League, Stellenbosch claimed a massive 22 wins, the most by any team in the Diski Challenge history, to rack up 69 points, a new record in the league.

There were 773 goals scored, more than ever before, and a record of 22 players who made their debut in the Premier Soccer League while still playing in the Reserve League in what will go down as one of the wildest, most unpredictable, and most entertaining Diski Challenge seasons of all time.

It is worth noting that the title race was decided in the last 10 minutes of the match on the final day.


Stellenbosch etched their name in the history book as they became the second team after Golden Arrows to win the Diski Challenge title since its establishment in 2014.

Despite stuttering at the start of the campaign, finding themselves as low as position 12 on the log, Stellies fought back when it mattered the most to climb their way to the top.

During that process, they defeated the likes of Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, who were all in the top four.

After matchday 17, they got a taste of being No 1 as they were top with 36 points, one ahead of Orlando Pirates, who had spent the most time at the top. Stellies spent one week at the top - they then reclaimed the No 1 spot after matchday 26, and from there, they never looked back as they went all the way to lift the title.


Orlando Pirates will have to try again next season to win the Diski Challenge title. The mighty Buccaneers were hoping for a third-time luck in the recently ended season, but things did not go their way.

They held their own and spent a couple of weeks at the top, however, when it mattered the most, Pirates started dropping points. That saw them finishing in a disappointing third spot. It was for the third season in a row that Pirates led the log only to flop in the critical stages of the season.


The 2022/23 champions form was not evident at the start of the campaign. They struggled after promoting the core of the team that won the league last season. However, they had a good ending as they finished fourth in the log and produced this season's top goal scorer Thabang Mahlangu who scored 17 goals this season to win the Golden Boot award.


The combination of Thulani Mini and Mervin Boji was rewarding for Stellenbosch as the duo played a vital role this season, especially towards the end.

Boji finished the campaign as the club's top goal scorer with 14 goals, with Mini providing eight assists to those goals.

The impressive Mini also reached double figures for the second season in a row scoring 11 goals. Last season, at Chippa United Mini scored 14 goals.

On the final day, Boji was Stellies' hero as he scored a hat-trick which ensured maximum points in a 4-3 win over plucky Golden Arrows, where they had to come from behind not once but three times.


He might have now won the Diski Challenge top-goal scorer accolade, but Jody Ah-Shene gave his competitors a run for their money in the Golden Boot race.

The 19- year-old scored 16 goals in 18 matches. Ah-Shene's impressive run in the Diski saw him featuring more in the senior team.


Kaizer Chiefs' young sensation Ne Bohloko and Cape Town City's skilful midfielder Emile Witbooi were the youngest players to feature in the Diski Challenge this season at the age of 15.

Bohloko was among the top scorers as he finished the season with 13 goals in his name, four goals behind the Golden Boot winner.