Johannesburg - Manning Rangers coach Gordon Igesund would be highly satisfied if his "Mighty Maulers" end their season the way they started - on a high note.

About a month ago not many would've discounted Rangers as potential Castle Premier League champions. After all, they were handily placed in third spot and very much a favourite bookmakers' choice for the title.

But the Durban-based side's hopes came unstuck against a rampant Kaizer Chiefs side on a night of misery at Johannesburg Stadium on 14 April.

The "Maulers" were handily placed behind current leaders Chiefs and Sundowns at the time, but were whipped 4-1 by the Amakhosi in a match which really turned the tide against them.

"Thank heavens it's over. It has been a long season and one we can be proud of, but our title hopes really ended about five or six weeks ago," Igesund said on Thursday.

"I don't think it was a bad season and I believe it is an achievement that in three years we've won the title once and twice ended in the top four. We cannot end lower than fourth this year, so I am happy."

Rangers are currently fourth on 57 points just behind Orlando Pirates, who have the same number of points but a better goal differential. Both teams end their season this weekend.

Rangers meet Qwa Qwa Stars at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Friday night, while Pirates host relegated outfit Vaal Professionals at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on Saturday.

"We are looking forward to playing them and we want to end our season on a positive note and give our supporters something to cheer about," Igesund said.

"It will not be an easy match as Stars are a good side with some quality players like Fees Moloi, Sipho Khuse and Bunene Ngaduane. But we want to win and hopefully end third."

Stars' objective this season has been to end in the top six and victory on Friday would assure them at least fifth spot and the reward of R220 000. Not bad for a side who started off on a lukewarm note, but has since never looked back and never been out of the top eight.

It may be Rangers' final match, but in a sense also the last one for a number of players at the Chatsworth club. Friday's outing will be the last chance for a few to impress Igesund and sway him to keep them off a transfer list he draws up next week.

"I do not want to name the players right now, I think it will be premature to do so. It would be fair to allow them to concentrate on tomorrow's match rather than think about anything else," Igesund said. "I will, however, reveal the list on Monday."

At least 10 other teams end their season this weekend with log position and pride key factors in their repertoires. - Sapa