NATIONAL First Division (NFD) outfit Thanda Royal Zulu are edging closer to fulfilling their dream of playing with the big boys in the Absa Premiership again next season.

A return to Premier Soccer League (PSL) action has eluded Amabhubesi for six years now.

They last played in the PSL back in 2009. Since then they’ve been trying their utmost to return but have so far been unsuccessful. It seems, however, that 2017 could be the year where Lady Luck finally smiles down on them.

With eight games to go before season’s end, Amabhubesi still top the NFD standings with 47 points, eight points ahead of nearest rivals Black Leopards.

In the eight remaining matches they are still to host teams such as Leopards, third placed Stellenbosch FC, struggling Magesi FC and FC Cape Town.

Despite the odds being in their favour, head coach Roger Sikhakhane has asked his players to remain focused. Sikhakhane spoke after his side’s 2-0 home win against relegation candidates Santos on Sunday.

“The important thing for us to win the title is to also do well in our away matches. And we must remain grounded, focused and make sure we respect every opponent coming our way. We are not there yet but we’re getting closer,” he said.

After the Santos win, Thanda have now collected 29 out of a possible 33 points at home. They have yet to taste defeat in their backyard.

Second half goals from Boikanyo Komane and Michael Gumede were enough to see Thanda maintain their eight-point lead.

Amabhubesi were not the only winners over the weekend. AmaZulu and Real Kings were the other KwaZulu-Natal teams who had good weekends.

Usuthu were away to Stellenbosch on Saturday and beat them 2-1, while Kings humiliated Milano United, winning 5-1. Royal Eagles’ title hopes were dealt a major blow when they were beaten 4-2 by Magesi.