Our SAB league end of year break WRAP served

end-of-yearDespite losing over the weekend, Riverside Rangers go into the end of year break at the top of the log in the SAB League.

The log leaders were beaten in their own backyard 2-0 by an improving Blaauwberg side which have become the “giant killers”, previously beating Cape Town United.
Only in their 2nd season in the league, after winning promotion, as “Spice 4 Life” 2 years ago and narrowly escaping relegation last year, Blaauwberg United seem to be coming to terms with the hustle and tussle of the SAFA 3rd division. They have recorded some good results of late and it will be interesting to see if the team can continue their performances after the break.

Newbie, FN Rangers coached by ex Santos player Arreshaat Daniels and Mark Matthews, have so far lived up to expectation after the Maitland side won promotion last season. The team has been balanced with youth and experience and with players like former professional Shaun Oliver in the team, the quality of experience is high. FN Rangers occupy 2nd place, 2 points off the pace, going into the break, also scoring the most goals but conceding more than half of the number of goals they’ve scored.

Another team which has been improving their record in the SAB League this season is the Epping based side of Two Oceans Academy. Two Oceans are occupying 3rd spot on the log but have already lost 4 games from their 12 played. The team have recorded some noticeable victories and their biggest loss was against Silver Spurs, losing 5-1. Two Oceans will be aiming for a better log position than last year’s 8th spot.

Bradley August has surely turned things around at HBUFC this season. The team consists only of local players and are having their best season yet. They are currently in 4th spot going into the break, 3 points off the pace but have a game in hand. Their next match will be a tough task against a non performing Junction Rovers (69) team who will want to get their season back on track.

JR69 are languishing in 12th spot but have the ability to record positive results and quickly lift them to a more respectable log position.

With only a 3 point difference in the top 5, the rest of the log is close with any of the teams able to cause a stir in the games to come.

A surprise this season is the results of Bayhill United which has struggled. A team which normally hold their own has become one of the weaker sides this season. Bayhill go into the break in 14th position with 10 points and only managing 2 wins so far. With all the available talent in the area, the team should be able to recover and at least survive this season although, a change is required to see better results.

Everyone has an opinion on what’s happening at Santos. The club is represented and fighting relegation in the NFD, SAB League and local CDFA Premier league, after being relegated from the Super League this year.
The once upon a time pride of Cape Town football has become like a withering leaf falling into the darkness of despair. Relegated 2 seasons ago from the SAB League, the team makes their appearance this year because of Mitchells Plain United being relegated from the 2nd division last year. At the yearend break they find themselves in 15th spot with only 2 wins and 9 losses. Unfortunately the coaching and running affairs come into question as there seems to be a lack of vision in the structures. Hopefully realignment of plans will see a positive change for the club.

We are nearly at the end of the first round and there are 3 teams who need a change of fortunes considering the log position they occupy. Bayhill United, Santos FC and UWC are in the relegation zone with South End close by.

UWC have changed their team of late and the results have improved although still not finding their 2nd win. In their last game this year the students suffered a big loss to Junction Rovers where they were hammered 5-1. Let’s see if they can turn the near losses to victories and possibly exit the drop zone.

Another newcomer and well known outfit to the league is Hanover Park FC who are in the top half of the table.
After winning promotion from Division 1 to Premier division in the CTTLFA, the team purchased the Shockwaves franchise in the SAB League and have given a fair account of themselves. Hanover Park had a rocky start to the season losing 2-0 to Santos in their opening match but quickly bounced back in their next fixture beating South End 4-1. The new year offers a few challenges for the squad as they prepare for the local CTTFA premier league and also consolidate their status in the SAB League. Adequate experience is present though to ensure Hanover Park can achieve both.

Bellstar, Silver Spurs, D&G Orient and Rebels have all been having moderate seasons and are sitting in the mid table region. These sides have massive experience in their squads mixed with capable youth players and we will watch their approach in the new year with interest as any of them have the ability to have a strong run to the finish line.

The league resumes on January 13th when Blaauwberg United host Rebels in Tableview at 7:30pm.

For the full list of opening fixtures visit: http://the4thmoment.co.za/calendar/fixtures-results/

SAFA/Burger King U19 -Joseph Pillay

burger-kingSantos of Cape Town will join Cape Town City and Ajax Cape Town as the third invitational side at the 2nd edition of the SAFA/Burger King u19 Men’s Championship.
The trio will be joining nine provincial teams to make up 12 participants in the tournament.
The event will take place in Cape Town from 12 – 18 December 2016.
The group stages and semi-finals will be held at the iconic William Herbert Sports Field (Cape District), while the final will take place at Phillipi Stadium.
The Burger King-sponsored tournament has produced the likes of Jody February, who is on the books of Ajax Cape Town as well as Denwin Farmer, who runs out for Supersport United.
The first edition was played two years ago in Bloemfontein – Supersport United won it after defeating Ajax Cape Town.
“For South Africa to do well in senior tournaments internationally, we have to take care of our youth, we have to make sure they travel the path that will prepare and arm them for the rigours of international competition. That is why we have to convey our greatest gratitude to Burger King for the partnership in ensuring that we have a solid foundation – which is our youth – with this u19 Men’s Championship,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“Without such support we do not stand much of a chance to compete international as our players will not have been properly prepared. We need to catch them young and get them ready for competition at an early age.”
Burger King is now a supplier to Bafana Bafana, and this came after the successful tournament in 2014 where they extended their partnership with SAFA in September to cover the South African u20 Men’s National Team (Amajita).
“As a company we are proud to be associated with the development of football in South Africa. Results like Amajita defeating Lesotho by eight goals to nil in their COSAFA u20 Cup opener in Rustenburg bodes well in realising our goals for vision 2022,” said Burking King Chairman, Dr Hassen Adams.
“At Burger King we remain passionate about development and community upliftment and we are confident that this upcoming tournament will produce more future stars making South Africa a force to be reckoned with on the global football field.”
Burger King was instrumental in the preparations of Amajimbos, the South African u17 Men’s National Team, who qualified for the u17 FIFA World Cup Chile 2015 tournament.
The teams are expected in Cape Town on Monday, 12 December.
Extract of the Rules:
The age cut off for players to qualify for this tournament will be players born on or after 1 January 1999
The SAFA U19 Championship match shall be for the duration of two (2) equal periods of thirty five (35) minutes with an interval of ten (10) minutes
Matches will be played on a single round basis, with each team in each group playing each other once (total of 3 matches per team)
During the knock-out stages when the score is a draw, then penalties shall be taken to determine the winner. (There shall be no Extra Time Played)
The teams that will qualify for the Semi Finals will be:
The 3 teams that are Group winners by virtue of accumulating the most points
The best runner-up from the 3 groups
In the event of equality of points in the group stages, the teams will be separated as follows:
Goal Difference
Goals Scored
If still equal after the goal tally, the Group winner / best runner-up shall be determined by a once-off match which shall be decided on penalties if the score is still tied after seventy (70) minutes
Group A Group B Group C
Santos Ajax Cape Town Cape Town City
KwaZulu Natal Eastern Cape Mpumalanga
Western Cape Free State North West
Limpopo Gauteng Northern Cape
FIXTURES:
DAY 2 – TUESDAY, 13 DECEMBER
Santos vs Western Cape 13h30 Field A
Ajax Cape Town vs Free State 13h30 Field B
Cape Town City vs North West 13h30 Field I
KZN vs Limpopo 15h00 Field A
Eastern Cape vs Gauteng 15h00 Field B
Mpumalanga vs Northern Cape 15h00 Field I
DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, 14 DECEMBER
KZN vs Santos 13h30 Field A
Eastern Cape vs Ajax Cape Town 13h30 Field B
Mpumalanga vs Cape Town City 13h30 Field I
Limpopo vs Western Cape 15h00 Field A
Gauteng vs Free State 15h00 Field B
Northern Cape vs North West 15h00 Field I
DAY 4 – THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER
Western Cape vs Santos 11h45 Field A
Limpopo vs KZN 11h45 Field B
Free State vs Ajax Cape Town 13h45 Field B
Gauteng vs Eastern Cape 13h45 Field I
North West vs Cape Town City 15h45 Field I
Northern Cape vs Mpumalanga 15h45 Field A
There will be a draw after the group stage matches to ensure that the best 2nd placed team does not play the winner of the same group – so two bowls, 1 with the teams from the same group and 1 with the winners of the other 2 groups
DAY 5 – FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER – KNOCKOUT STAGE
SEMI-FINAL 1
Winner Group (after draw) vs Best 2nd placed (but not from the winner group) 15h00
SEMI-FINAL 2
Winner Group (after draw) vs Winner Group (draw) 15h00
DAY 6 – SATURDAY, 17 DECEMBER
REST DAY
DAY 7 – SUNDAY, 18 DECEMBER: PHILLIPI STADIUM
3rd/4th Place Play Off
FINAL

-Joseph Pillay

Blaauwberg Utd on the up

dscf0215-mediumThis past Saturday we were at Thornton Sports field where Santos hosted Blaauwberg United in a 3 o’ clock kick off. Both teams haven’t had the greatest start to their respective campaign as after 8 games played, they find themselves the bottom half of the log.

The condition at Thornton was windy to say the least and with water restrictions in the city enforced, the pitch was considerably hard under foot.

Both sides would’ve earmarked this fixture to come away with a positive result to improve their log position and the game turned out to be quite entertaining for the neutral spectator.

The first half seemed to be a balanced affair as Blaauwberg looked to be the team taking the challenge to their hosts whereas Santos were more reactive when possession was lost by their opponents but unfortunately, continuously lost possession in the final third.

Numerous half chances were created by Blaauwberg and they were close to scoring just before the break but, Ndabezinhle Mathonsi’s attempted cross was lobbed over the crossbar after good interchanges from the left hand side.

At halftime the match was scoreless with both teams having to improve parts of their game. The visitors were good going forward with combinations out wide but seemed to lack support as they advanced into the final third, therefore causing them not able to capitalize on their possession in front of goal. For Santos on the other hand was the difficulty of moving the ball from their midfield into an attacking opportunity and at times when they were able to, the possession was lost too easily, either through incorrect decision making or good defensive organization by Blaauwberg.

The second half had plenty of action from the start with Blaauwberg continuing their dominance with being more effective when in possession. By the 20th minute Santos had their first real chance to score when a Blaauwberg defender failed to execute a tackle on his opponent but the attempt wasn’t on target and went wide of the upright.

With players tiring, the away side were guilty of losing possession cheaply and allowing the hosts to get their foot on the ball. Santos were also making more use of the wide players in an attempt to get behind the Blaauwberg defence.

In the 70th minute Blaauwberg striker, Alex Kanu, robbed the ball from Santos midfielder, Junaud Charles deep in the Santos half,Kanu quickly passed the ball to the supporting attacker and Zakhele Luthuli executed a sublime finish to bury the ball pass Sam Collins, the Santos keeper.

Santos had a late chance to equalize but Benjamin Matshoba of Santos placed the ball straight to Blaauwberg keeper, Mark Anderson.

The match ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors and earned the Blaauwberg side a much needed 3 points.

Rangers claim home victory

dscf0034-mediumFN Rangers hosted South End on Saturday in the early kick off match which took place at the windy Royal road complex in Maitland. Rangers have had a fair start to their 3rd division season after gaining promotion last year. Their record before the match on Saturday saw them on 9 points with 3 wins from 6 games.

South End on the other hand were chasing their 3rd victory of the season and were 2 points adrift from their hosts.

Within the first 5 minutes of the game it was evident that FN Rangers were content with holding the ball and applying pressure with some good combinations going forward. Chad Weitz, the Rangers midfielder, was prominent in most of his side’s attacks.

For most of the first half the home side were favoured with possession as they attempted to hold the ball more often but were guilty of making the incorrect decision in certain areas of the field. Rangers made use of the width of the field and at many times got in behind the South End wide defenders to attack the space closer to the poles but poor decision making let them down.
The South End defence looked comfortable with handling their opponents and had a more direct approach in reaching the final third. It was the visitors who looked more threatening when they pushed forward with Marvin Abrahams, Shuaib Darvie and Rossco Prince involved with many of their team’s chances.
A definite man of the match candidate was Rangers goalkeeper Tariq Barendse, as he looked confident in all aspects of his position, communicating with his back four and positioning himself to snuff any possible attack.
A forced substitution saw the hosts move Weitz from midfield to a wide position and it seemed to influence the way the team played as his creative ability was missing from their build up.

As the second half started the visitors had the wind at their back and had their first chance of the half in the 53rd minute when Ashlyn Tait pounced on a Rangers mistake but Tait could only see his attempt go high and pass the upright.
A few minutes later FN Rangers had 3 missed chances involving Gavin Lendis and Aidan Gouvids.

Both sides had their fair share of opportunities in the second half with the match being played from end to end but both teams unable to convert. Rangers must have thought they were taking the lead when Gouvids broke the opponent’s defensive line in the 82nd minute but missed the target with his shot.

The goal was finally scored when the South End defense could not clear the ball effectively and Brandon Orderson, of Rangers, took full advantage of the defensive lapse and buried the ball into the top right corner pass the diving South End stickman, Ivan Paulse.

FN Rangers winning 1-0 much to the relief of their coaching staff.

dscf0033-medium

SAB League promotion battle

Dean Williams from Greenwood and Nolan Waggennar from Durbanville battling it out in the midfield for their respective sides.
Dean Williams from Greenwood and Nolan Waggennar from Durbanville battling it out in the midfield for their respective sides.

Local football followers were spoilt for choice over this past fortnight as competitions took place at various venues.

With the LFA season at an end and all league winners confirmed, 35 LFA representatives took part in the SAB League playoffs held this year at William Herbert Sports Ground. The teams were split into 8 groups, 3 groups consisting of 5 teams and 5 groups of 4 teams. The competition started on the Saturday and it didn’t take long for the men to be separated from the boys. With scores of 6-0, 6-1, 5-0, 7-1 and 8-0 being recorded, it was clear the standard of the participants were somewhat mismatched.

It must be said that many of the matches were of sub standard quality with teams adopting a win at all cost approach in order to get to the next round. There were teams who stood out as a cut above the rest and many of them made it through the qualifying round.

The winner from each group then qualified for the knockout stage. Challenges were incurred for the organisers when teams defaulted as the competition progressed. The defaulted teams were expunged which meant that a few teams were disadvantaged if they had positive results against the expunged teams in the group stage.

Nevertheless the qualifiers battled it out on the 30 October and produced some exciting games.  No doubt the most entertaining match was the local CDFA side, Greenwood against Durbanville from CTTFA. By halftime 6 goals had been scored with both sides sharing the spoils at 3-3. Greenwood ran out eventual winners beating their counterparts 5-4. FC G Hotspurs scored their winner against Chelsea in the 90th min to secure their progression in the competition with a score of 3-2. JL Zwane and Connoisseur Spurs were locked at 1-1 for most of the match until the Rygate side sealed the match with a 2-1 score line. Juventus FC were able to keep a clean sheet against Bluegum United and score 2 goals to see them progress to the semi final.

And then there were 4 but only place for 2. This was the situation at 3:30pm just before the semi finals commenced. It would take 1 more win for a team to take part in the SAB League from next season. A common sentiment was quoted on the day “90 mins to decide your whole season”. That was the pressure the managers and coaches had to endure for the remaining game.

Greenwood showed their prowess and won their semi final 3-1 against FC G Hotspurs. The 2nd semi final had to be decided via a penalty shoot out which was won by Juventus FC of Greater Philippi LFA.

Junctions Rovers and D&G Orient faced each other on the 1st day of the competition
Junctions Rovers and D&G Orient faced each other on the 1st day of the competition

The SAB League Nedbank playoffs also took place with Hanover Park beating HBUFC in the semi final and they await the result of the remaining semi final between Cape Town United and D&G Orient to find out who their opponents will be.  For some of the 3rd division teams the schedule was hectic as they played 4 games in 7 days with league matches taking place during the week.

With Nedbank games coming up for the ABC Motsepe league this week, local football followers can look forward to plenty of football on offer. As usual we hope to have more quality than quantity as to make the watching experience worthwhile.

The week ahead

DSCF3262Bellstar United make the trip to Hout Bay on Friday night when they face HBUFC. Both teams recorded their first win last week where Bellstar beat UWC 1 nil and HBUFC beat Two Oceans by the same score. So far the sides are evenly matched so will make for a tough encounter.

The early 2:30 kick off on Saturday is at Royal Road where FN Rangers will be hosting Silver Spurs. Newly promoted FN Rangers already had a taste of victory in their first match but found D&G Orient too hot to handle when they lost 4-2 last week. Spurs is not going to offer any relief as the Silvertown side are yet to record their first win after drawing both their opening matches. This match should be a good contest.

South End travel to Thornton this weekend where the new Santos team will be the host. Santos have made many changes since we last saw the outfit in the 3rd division and they will be hoping to record a victory after stumbling last week against Rebels. South End will be looking to improve their season and recording their first win of the season will be a step in the right direction.

Second placed Riverside Rangers travel to Mitchells Plain and should fancy their chances against a struggling Bayhill United. Bayhill have conceded 5 goals and scored none in their past 2 games, a statistic that new coach Leon Ganger won’t be pleased about. Ganger, a former FC Fortune captain, has his work cut out in getting the Bayhill team back to winning ways. Riverside, last year’s runners up have had a good start and also managed to keep clean sheets in both their matches so far.

Junction Rovers are one of those teams which are always going to be in the mix when it comes to the end of the season. Although they haven’t recorded a win as yet, they will be a tough assignment for a Rebels side that come off a good win against Santos last week after the Khayalitsha side went down 2 nil to Riverside Rangers the week before. This has the makings of a tough game for both sides.

Table View Sports Complex will be the venue for Blaauwberg as they host Two Oceans Academy. Blaauwberg United is the new look Spice 4 Life team which made their entry to the league last season and just managed to survive relegation. With new resources available the team will be looking to make a better impact this season. They’ve had tough opening games so far as they lost to D&G Orient 3-0 but displayed character in the next match drawing 3 all against Silver Spurs. Two Oceans have had a fair start to their campaign beating UWC 3-0 but was brought down to earth when they lost to HBUFC last week. The side from Epping will want to bounce back this week and might fancy their chances against their neighbours who haven’t recorded a win as yet.

Promoted Cape Town United have to face current log leaders D&G Orient on Saturday. The Mannenberg side are high in confidence after winning their opening 2 games but the new boys haven’t done that bad in their first start in the league, having won Bayhill and drawing against Junction in their opening matches. So this has the potential of being the match of the weekend between these 2 teams.

UWC host new boys Hanover Park and the home side will be looking to improve their start to the season. The visitors managed to set aside their loss in their first game against Santos and overcame South End winning them 4 – 1 on Sunday. UWC will be hoping that Hanover Park leaves their scoring boots at home on Saturday and that the students find the back of the net.

Week 1 at a glance – SAFA 3rd division

new-logo-draftNewly promoted FN Rangers host Bayhill United on Saturday at the Royal Road sports field in Maitland.
The home side have kept most of the players who won the club promotion last year as they look for continuity and an opportunity for the young team to showcase their talent in the 3rd division. We will have to wait see the type of football they deliver as the club is well known for playing an entertaining style.
Bayhill united have a new coach. Leon Ganger takes over from Jeff Isaacs and apparently a younger outfit will take the field for the Mitchells Plain side. So with both sides having the youthful vigour this should be a cracking affair.

Bonteheuwel Sport Complex will be the venue for the South End and Bellstar clash at 3pm.There wasn’t much which separated the 2 sides last year as they ended 1 point from each other on the log. In the 2 games played last year South End were 3-1 victors in the first round but Bellstar ended the second round match encounter 2-0. Who will be victorious on Saturday?

The other promoted side is Cape Town United and they will be playing at home in Langa against Junction Rovers. Junction is a team that has pedigree in this league and are sure contenders for the title as they are every year. It is a very good first match for Cape Town United as they will know how they compare with one of the toughest teams in the division.

Rebels have their first match of the season at home in Site C. They welcome last year’s runners up, Riverside Rangers who must be 1 of the firm favourites this year after coming so close last time around being 2 points short from eventual winners, Jomos Power. The Rangers side collected 6 points from their opponents last year but will know that the home side is capable of delivering a good enough performance to win at home. An exciting match up for sure.

Spice 4 Life has had some changes internally and is now called Blaauwberg United. Coach Fortune is still in charge after taking over late in the season last year and managed to survive relegation after the side’s poor start. They host D&G Orient at Dunoon on Saturday. D&G Orient have made their intentions clear and are planning to be a force in the league. The team however has some changes in the playing staff from last year so depending how they combine might have a tough time on Saturday.

Relegated Mitchells Plain United, now called Santos in the 3rd division are home to Hanover Park who purchased the Shockwaves franchise. Santos is currently finding their feet as they rebuild the club in an attempt to become one of the powerhouses in Cape Town football as in previous years. Hanover Park have been in this environment before and was a team who, was also a force to be reckoned with on the playing field. This will be an interesting match.

UWC enter their second season in the 3rd division and are away to Two Oceans Academy in Epping on Sunday. The students had a tough time last season managing 9 wins but picked up momentum during the season to steer clear of relegation. Two oceans had a promising start last season but quickly found it tough and will be more than likely be better prepared this season.

With the first fixture taking place on Friday and all the above on Saturday and Sunday, the battle lines will be drawn and intentions made clear by Sunday evening.
It’s an exciting part of the season as coaches take stock of their pre season and test their approaches. One thing for sure it creates excitement for spectators and followers of the league. From the 4thmoment we wish all teams well and look forward to reporting on the players making their mark this season.

SAB League 2016/17 Kickoff

hbufc-vs-spursThe SAB League 2016/17 season kicks off this week. First up in Hout Bay HBUFC will be hosting Silver Spurs at the IY field at an 8pm kick off. With the newly formed 2nd division franchise formed in the area, a few players have left HBUFC including key players like ex captain Newton Constant, and found a place in the ABC Motsepe Devonshire franchise team.

HBUFC will now contain only Hout Bay based players and are looking to entrust the many youngsters to perform well enough to maintain their place in the league.
Bradley August, ex Bafana Bafana striker and most recently Glendene head coach, has taken charge of the team.
This is what HBUFC management had to say about their new coach “Bradley’s involvement stretches much further than the Castle team. He has influence across all of our structures and we’re busy building something that’s lasting and sustainable. His energy and enthusiasm is amazing-he’s had a huge impact already. Right now we’re working harder than ever; the guys are happy & disciplined. Hopefully we can win a few games and play some good football along the way”.

So all looks positive for the Hout Bay based side as they start their new journey with August. For Silver Spurs though all these new initiatives will have no bearing when it comes to kick off on Friday night. Old campaigners in the league and hugely experienced coach Victor Tajoodien with his team will be looking to collect 3 points in their first fixture. Spurs has always been a side where passion and grit are key ingredients for their success and with a few talented younger players wanting to impress, they will surely make for an exciting encounter.

NFD Preview week 2 – Stevlin Malgas

Mthatha Bucks top the NFD log after the first round of games
Mthatha Bucks top the NFD log after the first round of games

Saturday, 10 September 2016 – 15H00

Black Leopards v Jomo Cosmos, Thohoyandou Stadium

Old foes do battle as Lidoda Duvha go in search of their first points of the 2016-17 season, while Ezenkosi look to maintain their unbeaten start as they travel to the Limpopo Province. The two former PSL outfits have met on 22 occasions, Leopards edging with nine wins to Cosmos’ five, with eight matches ending a draw.

Witbank Spurs v Mthatha Bucks, Puma Rugby Stadium

A crunch encounter waits as Siyavutha face early leaders Amathol’amnyama, with both sides on the back of positive opening round results. The Eastern Cape-based Bucks however are yet to secure a point against Spurs, suffering defeat in two previous meetings.

FC Cape Town v Magesi FC, NNK Rugby Stadium

NFD rookies Magesi make their first trip to the Mother City as Moletjie’s Dikwena take on the African Beasts. The host heads into the encounter on the back of an away draw to Jomo Cosmos, while new boys Magesi look to pick themselves up from a home defeat.

Stellenbosch FC v University of Pretoria, Coetzenberg Stadium

A heated affair waits down in the Cape Winelands as Stellenbosch coach Sammy Troughton faces his previous employers.The AmaTuks bench will also have no stranger to the Mother City in coach Shaun Bartlett, as the former Cape Town Spurs striker squares off against a team where he spent a portion of his youth career at.

Mbombela United v Milano United, Kanyamazane Stadium

Tingwenyama will be gunning for their first win of the season as they come up against Eezy My Kinnes who also heads into Saturday’s encounter on the back of a first round defeat. The Cape-based side is yet to win against Mbombela having suffered 1-0 defeats on two previous outings.

Real Kings FC v Santos, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium

The KwaZulu-Natal Kings will be aiming to extend their unbeaten start to their maiden campaign, as they host the People’s Team in their first home match of the season. Confidence will surely be high in the Santos camp, after opening round victory, as the Cape-based side looks to dethrone Kings.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 – 15H00

Thanda Royal Zulu v Royal Eagles, Umhlathuze Sports Complex

A Royal derby is set for the KZN province as a roaring Ambubeshi take on an Eagles side that are yet to take flight. Opening round results saw Thanda claw their way back to a 2-1 away victory to new boys Magesi, while Eagles had to settle for 1-1 draw against NFD rookies Real Kings.

Cape Town All Stars v AmaZulu, Parow Park

Igugu Lekapa will look to bounce back from their opening round defeat, as they take on Usuthu in their first home match of the season. A crunch encounter will surely be on the cards with both sides having bolstered their squads, gunning for outright promotion.

Follow Stevlin on twitter @StevlinProNFD

 

NFD Week 1 Preview – Stevlin Malgas

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.

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