Tag: greenwood

League update at lockdown

As our country experiences our first lockdown we take the time to have a look at what stage in the season the SAFA 3rd division was suspended and its impact.

After round 17 Hanover Park are at the summit due to a better goal difference than Greenwood Athletic and newcomers Crystal Palace as all three teams have 31 points. Hot on their heels is Cape Town City with 30 points who also have the best goal difference in the league due to their high goal-scoring rate of 45 goals in 17 matches.

Other newcomers Woodlands, who have been doing well to keep in the top 5 are only 2 points (29) adrift from the top 3 while former log leaders Silver Spurs are in 6th spot with 28 points.

Between 8th and 1st place sees only a 5 point difference which offered an exciting scenario before the suspension of the league.

Matroosfontein who was at the same time last season in the top 3, are now facing relegation as they are rooted at the bottom with only 8 points and recording 2 wins this season. Cape Town United and Goal 50 are part of the threatened relegation mix and are in danger of the drop if they fail to record some positive results once the league resumes or IF it resumes.

Teams having a better record this season compared to last year are Bluegum United, Rebels, Bellstar and Cape Town City, with the latter in the top 5.

With the lockdown imposed having 21 days without any activity all clubs are in an unfamiliar and scary position with a vast number of challenges facing clubs.

Player fitness and readiness is probably the most concerning for technical staff as players might be keeping physically fit at home, but will need time to adapt to match fitness post the lockdown.

The ability to adapt to the time off will determine which teams will benefit the most if a return does happen. If the league does resume then the break may offer clubs like Matroosfontein, Cape Town United and Goal 50 an opportunity to recover as the lockdown might serve as a leveler as it is possible that other teams will struggle to continue the form they had before the break.

Another talking point is that the uncertainty of the restart to the league may cause some teams to lose key players. Although the 3rd Division is an amateur league, some teams do remunerate players and the fact that there are no matches taking place, may cause players not to be paid.

The reality of the matter is that the 21-day break may change the whole complexity of the current log positions especially considering the points difference between 15th place and 1st place is only 16 points at the moment compared to last season where it was 24 points at the same stage.

SAFA will assess the situation after the lockdown and decide the way forward and hopefully, by then we would’ve flattened the curve and have a chance of returning to the sports field but also bearing in mind that there is also the real possibility that leagues may not resume.

#staysafe

Exciting restart on the cards!!

This weekend sees the continuation of the SAFA 3rd division after the end of year break and with 7 matches played so far, we take a brief look at the results of some of the teams.

It’s not unusual for newly promoted teams to do well in their first season in this league and this year Crystal Palace and Woodlands United are continuing the trend as they are placed in the top 3 at the end of 2019.

Palace are occupying top spot and recorded some good results especially beating Hanover Park 3-2 in November while Woodlands had a good run in the Nedbank Cup reaching the regional finals and finishing 2019 in the 3rd spot. Woodlands are facing an uphill battle for the rest of the season as they struggle to secure training grounds in Mitchells Plain and this leaves Coach Zarrie with a tough job to prepare for matches.

Silver Spurs are looking the business this year with target man Ameen Awaldien in fine form netting 6 goals so far. The technical team is now headed by Coach Russell Davids and the squad is a good blend of youth and experience which should see them make an attempt at the title depending if they can be consistent with their performances.

Hanover Park have had a mixed bag of results in their first 7 games but one would expect them to improve as the season continues and apply pressure on the top of the table. With Coach Franklin Davies at the helm, anything is possible as his positive motivation and guidance are essential for his troops every week.

Much was expected from Nova Nacional this season as the team realigned their focus on their goal to be in the PSL in the next few years and the expectation was valid with some key acquisitions in the technical team before the start of the season. Former Bafana Bafana left-back David Kannemeyer is heading the technical team after having brief coaching spells at The Magic (ABC Motsepe) and Cape Town All Stars (NFD). Kannemeyer still has plenty of time to improve his team’s results and has the resources to do so.

In what could be termed as a rebuilding stage for Greenwood, their start to the season is probably their worst since campaigning in the league about 3 years ago. Coach Fadiel Losper is at the helm this season and in charge of the rebuild which includes some younger players in the squad but still has the stability with the experience of players like Nathan Brown and Dean Williams.

Cape Town City is having a better start compared to last season as they also have a change in the technical team which is now headed by Coach Richard Lovell. City’s positive results have seen them end 2019 in the top half of the table and a few of the team’s performances have been a pleasure to watch as the young squad uses their pace and skill to their advantage against their opponents.

Scrolling down to the foot of the table is a surprise to many if last season was anything to go by as Matroosfontein, who were contenders last season, are now languishing at the bottom of the log. With only 1 win from 7 matches so far, Coach Patrick Wheels and his team will be eager to get this year going and start his team’s recovery and ensure their survival.

Another team finding it tougher than last year is Cape Town United who are yet to record a victory but only lost once and drew 5 matches in their 6 played so far. The Langa team will be looking at the next few weeks as a crucial part of their season if they want to avoid the relegation zone by midseason.

It’s still a long way to go and the situation can change for all 16 teams and with no one really dominating yet, it keeps the excitement going for spectators and hope alive for clinching the top spot. Check out this week’s fixtures and make sure to catch a game.

Regional 3RD Division 19/20

 

Summer Round up – Part 2

The 2nd division had its own drama this season from sprinklers disturbing matches to lights failing or being switched off. The Magic were favoured for taking the league this season but after suffering their first loss to Morning Stars in game 7, it took them 4 matches to get back to winning ways and by that time Steenberg had already caught up.

The top 5 ended with all the big guns in the league like Zizwe United, Glendene United, Ikapa Sporting and of course The Magic who ended 2nd. One of the highlights for The Magic was reaching the last 16 in the Nedbank Cup where they lost to Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 after taking the PSL team to extra time.

Glendene revived their season after the return of Coach Bradley August from HBUFC while Ikapa Sporting, led by Coach Nasief Morris and assisted by Coach Theo Hempe finished off better than the previous year, from 12th to 5th.
Zizwe could only manage 10 wins during the 2018/19 season but this year they only suffered 3 losses, a major improvement.

Both teams which were relegated this year were franchises bought at the start of the season. Ocean View purchased the D&G Orient franchise while Mbekweni Cosmos bought the Ace FC franchise. One would assume that their plans didn’t work out or maybe the league was underestimated. It is clear though that there is a major disparity between teams when it comes to financial resources as the community-based teams continue to utilize the youth at their disposal while the financially sound continue to recycle players.

Picture cred: Rashied Isaacs

With both Steenberg Utd and The Magic out of the league, there are many teams who can list themselves as favourites next season. The likes of Glendene, Ikapa Sporting, and Zizwe are regularly probing for the top spot and next year might be their season but they would have to be wary of the newcomers like Ubuntu and newly promoted Young Pirates, not forgetting others who will seize the opportunity to assert themselves for the playoff spot.

Summer Round Up – Part 1

With both the SAFA 3rd division and 2nd division all done and dusted we take a look at what was what in the 2 local Cape Town respective leagues.

The 3rd division was probably the toughest it’s been for a long time with no specific team dominating the league. Young Pirates clinched the title with only 58 points which is a low tally compared to previous seasons where the same point total would get a team a 2nd place on the log.

A few teams were in and out of the top 5 but it was clear that Pirates and Matroosfontein were the pacesetters with Greenwood keeping in touch. Both Pirates and Matroos were newcomers to the league this season after winning promotion from the playoffs and together with Nova Nacional were part of a group of new teams who made their presence felt in their first season.

The participation of Cape Town City this season was a cause of curiosity as many were wondering about the team make up and asking if the PSL club would make an impact on the local 3rd division. A development tool for City, the team showed promise and excitement in the friendly matches preceding the season but unfortunately, the lack of experience seemed to be their Achilles heel.

This year proved to some that this league is not easily won and it takes more than just pitching up on a match day and expecting to win as teams with fewer resources can make an impact.

A total of 771 goals were scored in 480 matches for the season and many teams displayed some entertaining football. We also had a few comebacks like Kuilsriver who clawed their way up from the drop zone only to be relegated after DC ruling had 12 points deducted from them. Other teams like Goal 50, Cape Town City, Rebels, and Bluegum United managed to survive and were often in the relegation cauldron.

With Ubuntu FC being relegated from the NFD, the possible ripple effect for the 3rd division meant that more than the usual 2 teams could be relegated but fortunately both Steenberg United and Young Pirates won their respective playoffs, meaning that only 2 teams were dropped from the league.
Those 2 teams were Bayview FC, who are the current Coke Cup champs and Kuilsriver.

Final day – SAB League

This weekend sees the conclusion of the SAFA 3rd Division (SAB LEAGUE).
The past 2 weeks we’ve witnessed a turnaround and shift in log positions due to DC rulings which had not only points deducted but also added to affected clubs.

This has caused Young Pirates, who were leading the log, to drop to second as Matroosfontein benefited with the addition of points and now head the log with 1 game to go.

Effectively 3 clubs are in the running for the league on the final day. Matroosfontein lay in 1st place with 57 points while both Young Pirates and Hanover Park are 2 points adrift.

Hanover Park is probably the outside bet as they need to win their match against Greenwood and also depend on the top 2 to lose their matches. There are various scenarios which could result in any of the top 3 taking the title however, Matroosfontein holds their own destiny in their hands and if they win their final match against Cape Town City, they win the league.

The bottom half has just much tension as clubs play for their survival and with the drop of Ubuntu to the ABC Motsepe League having an effect on the lower leagues, it will be more than the standard 2 teams who will be relegated.

The number of teams who will be relegated will be confirmed after the 2nd division for NFD playoff and the 3rd division for ABC Motsepe playoff. If Steenberg United and the SAB League winner both get through the playoffs, fewer teams will be dropped from the SAB League.

Kuilsriver AFC who were the worst affected by the DC Rulings are bottom of the log and they will be relegated after Saturday’s match. The bottom sides all have tough encounters on Saturday and a few unexpected results are on the cards as clubs fight till the last day to secure their status.

What an exciting end to a crazy season where the log table was close through the year. Last season FN Rangers won the league with 70 points and the last team in that season finished with 18 points, compared to this season where the 60 point mark can win the league and the last team can end with 31 points. Proof of how tight it was this year.

Bayhill Premier Cup – Delivering Action

So today is day 3 at the U19 Bayhill Premier Cup at Erica Park and we take a quick look at what’s been happening over the past 2 days.

Although the tournament is an institution on the football calendar it doesn’t come without its criticism from some quarters especially after the cancelling of last year’s event due to the water crisis.
The negativity is swiftly a memory as the tournament so far has delivered what majority of people attend the Bayhill for, and that is unpredictability, future stars, local participation, local competing against youth of the “big guns”, excitement and great vibe.

The football on display has been well worth the trip to Erica Park, which by the way is in good shape. The pitch has been a talking point but after day 2 it is still showing signs of holding up for the weekend. Obviously with the rigorous activity continuing it is expected to deteriorate everyday but let’s hope it stays intact.

Back to the football and some results which stand out include local club Silver Spurs holding Mamelodi Sundowns to a 0-0 draw. This was Spurs’ 2nd match after they beat Blackbirds Academy 2-0 the day before.
Wednesday night we witnessed a Mitchells Plain derby where Rocka a fellas were convincingly beaten by Beacon Spurs 4-0 while on Thursday, a Cape District derby delivered an unexpected result as Greenwood Athletic defeated Grassy Park United 1-0. Greenwood end the day on 6 points after recording a 2-0 win over Bayview FC on Wednesday.

Cape Town City didn’t have it easy against HBUFC but their individual quality shone through as they beat the Hout Bay side 2-0. Visitors Highlands Park delivered a good performance when they faced debutants Nova Nacional and won their game 3-0, while current champions Supersport recorded a 1-0 win against Jacaranda Callies.

Day 3 action kicks off at 3PM and promises to deliver more of the same and even better as the stakes are raised with teams fighting to book their place in the knockout stages.

See you there!!

3RD Division snap report – Joe Pillay

SAFA Cape Town’s SAB League season has been nothing short of entertainment and competitiveness. The 16-team league is approaching its closing stages with just under 10 fixtures remaining.

Topping the stands is Young Pirates with 43 points which could have been more had they not dropped two valuable points this past weekend in a 2-2 draw against Nova Nacional FC.

Fortunately for Pirates, their closest contenders, Matroosfontein FC were also held to a 1-1 draw by Rebels FC while third from the top, Greenwood Athletic also failed to capitalize on the top two sides’ draws as they went down by a 1-0 to Bellstar United.

A high scoring game took place between Junction Rovers and Two Oceans Academy as Rovers fought to a 6-4 victory in a 10-goal thriller at home.

Bluegum United had it all to do at home when they welcomed Goal 50 United who only managed to get one goal in a 3-1 loss against the hosts while Bayview FC edged Hanover Park by a 2-1 margin.

The fight for promotion to the ABC Motsepe League will be quite interesting in the next weeks leading up to the season’s conclusion.

Thurlo supplies The Magic touch

Shaheed Abrahams of The Magic and Zaheer Abrahams form Greenwood tussle for possession

The much awaited Nedbank final between The Magic and Greenwood Athletic lived up to expectation on Saturday in front of a large crowd at Solo Street Sports field.

Both teams had to overcome tough opposition to get to the final from their respective leagues. The Magic defeated last year’s champions Steenberg United 1-0 while Greenwood travelled to Beaufort West where they beat Barcelona, Salim Utd and United Pirates.

The opening 15 mins saw The Magic playing with the wind and looking more dangerous in attack while Greenwood managed to maintain the pressure and even create a few counter attack opportunities.

The rest of the half was all action with entertaining football on display from both sides. Greenwood were the team taking the fight to their opponents with good quality combinations but were matched in defence by the experienced Magic side. The match was truly a spectacle with a real display of the ability of our local players, being represented on both sides.

On The Magic side players like Howard Davids who is a former NFD player (CT All Stars/ Richards Bay) and Nazier Jacobs a former PSL player (Polokwane City), had it tough against local boys like Chadley Philander, and Kyle Seegers in the middle of the park.
Seegers is a former Magic player while Philander is a former Ubuntu Academy player and also played at Grassy Park United last season.

At the end of the Greenwood attack was Mickyle George who put in a hard shift but was closely watched by Magic captain Tsepiso Thlapi who as usual delivered a top class performance.

By halftime the match was goalless but ended with Greenwood showing the ascendancy and the excited crowd were hoping for much of the same in the second half.

The next 45 mins was a different story as Greenwood Athletic failed to cope with the gusty wind for most of the half while the experience and class of their opponents was clear to see as they adapted better to the conditions. The Magic played almost every ball from the back and created opportunities up front. The defence of Greenwood stood firm as old foes Zaheer Abrahams and Mark Nefdt, who formed the centre back pairing, showed their ability and calmness under pressure to keep the Magic out.

The Magic managed to break the deadlock in the second half when Thurlo Moosa scored from a corner set piece and gave his team the upper hand for the remainder of the half.

Mark Nefdt the Greenwood captain and Danian Wareley from The Magic in action

The home side continued pushing for the elusive goal creating opportunities but the Magic keeper, Jaleel Johnson with his defence stood firm to keep Greenwood from scoring.

In the 42nd minute Greenwood had an opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty as Kyle Adriaanse was adjudged to have fouled Mikyle George in the box. George immediately insisted on taking the spot kick but he struck the upright and with that was unable to get the equaliser.

The match ended 1-0 to The Magic and they are through to the last 32 in the competition.

Many of the Greenwood supporters left disappointed but proud of their team’s performance against a giant in local football. For The Magic another opportunity is earned to display their talents on the national stage.