With the National First Division starting this week, Stevlin Malgas supplies a brief preview of the fixtures
Saturday, 27 August 2016 – 15H00
University of Pretoria v Cape Town All Stars, Tuks Stadium
AmaTuks returns to life in the National First Division, after spending the past four seasons in the PSL. They welcome a promotional-driven Igugu Lekapa who will be gunning for a bright start to their third season in the NFD.
Santos v Mbombela United, Parow Park
The Peoples Team will look to hit the ground running against last season’s surprise package in Tingwenyama. Santos who are on the back of another disappointing season in the NFD, will have to battle it out against Mbombela, whose sights will be to go one better than last season’s play-off finish.
Royal Eagles v Real Kings FC, Harry Gwala Stadium
A baptism of fire will surely be on the cards as the big-spending Eagles welcomes their newly promoted neighbours. There however will be no royal treatment for the Kings as derby action ascends on the KZN province.
Mthatha Bucks v Stellenbosch FC, Mthatha Stadium
The action returns to Mthatha Stadium in what will be a replay of last season’s opening fixture, with both sides gunning for improved performances. Amathol’amnyama will be looking keep last season’s unbeaten home record intact hosting the team formerly known as Vasco Da Gama.
Magesi FC v Thanda Royal Zulu, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium
Rookies Magesi gets a taste of life in the NFD as they entertain Amabhubesi in their opening encounter. The Richards Bay-based Thanda will be hoping to stamp their authority early on, to avoid a repeat of last seasons nail bitting relegation battle.
Sunday, 28 August 2016 – 15H00
Jomo Cosmos v FC Cape Town, Olen Park Stadium
It’s a return to what could be said to be familiar grounds for Ezenkosi, as coach Sono plots his 4th return to the PSL. A crunch encounter can be expected as Cosmos host the African Beasts, who are also no strangers to the demands of the NFD.
AmaZulu v Black Leopards, Prince Magogo Stadium
Two former PSL sides do battle as Usuthu host Lidoda Duvha, with Zimbabwean tacticians on either side of the field getting their first taste of NFD action. There however will be no time to crawl with promotion to the elite league being high on the agenda of both sides.
Milano United v Witbank Spurs, Boland Rugby Stadium
It’s off to Boland for Eezy my Kinnes as look to avenge last season’s defeat at the hands of Siyavutha. The match day venue will surely be a test for both promotional-driven sides, with the home side scheduled to play their first competitive match at the venue.