Tag: Hanover Park

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

 

Our Engen KO Challenge 2019 Wrap Up

The Cape Town leg of the Engen Knockout Challenge (EKOC) 2019 took place from the 26th – 28th July 2019 and was hosted by Wanderers FC of the Langa LFA.

The EKOC is in its 17th year and the Wanderers FC and tournament LOC must be congratulated on hosting an efficient and well-organized event, extinguishing any pre-tournament concerns about the ability to do so.

Results at the end of day 1 were an early indication that the local football landscape is changing as the traditional LFA clubs were no pushovers to the more resourced academy teams.
Wynberg St Johns had a good tournament and was victorious in their first 2 matches against the more fancied Ulana Academy and Cape Town City sides.

The Maitland based FN Rangers also turned a few heads when they held Hellenic to a 1-1 draw and later Cape Umoya to a goalless draw. Against Cape Umoya, Rangers were brave enough to use their defenders to start their attack from the back with solid build-up play and both sides saw missed chances but the encounter was entertaining.

Hanover Park gave a good account of themselves reaching the semi-finals of the competition, eventually bowing out to Cape Town City via a penalty shootout. This was preceded by a win against Everton and a 2-2 draw with Stellenbosch FC on day 1.
A 3-1 win against Jomos Power from Atlantis booked their spot in the quarters where they defeated hosts, Wanderers 1-0 to advance to the semis.
The lanky Hanover Park midfielder Carl Keyster was the stand out player displaying his skills and work rate both in defence and attack.

As usual, many opinions and views are shared at tournaments and it was no different this time. The discussions on day 1 were dominated by the lack of football quality on display. The direct approach seemed to be the chosen tactics by the majority with teams trying to win the 2nd ball whilst others stuck to their style of play.

A confession by one of the coaches who took part in the tournament was that he chose to follow the “long ball” route in his first match but reverted to his team’s passing game in his following game where they won and the players had a more enjoyable experience.

Tournaments in Gauteng are often seen as a step up because they are slightly different to what we normally experience in Cape Town. The Gauteng tournaments often have more teams who enjoy passing the ball and keeping it on the deck.
Appropriate then that the Cape Town winner, Ubuntu, was one of the teams who displayed mostly attractive football and they will be representing the province at the national event.

There might be a difference of opinion with regards to the game plans of coaches but there was an agreement with the attendees that the quality of the players were noticeable. Each match had at least a player from either side who displayed their ability and skill level to impress spectators.

To sum it up, the EKOC 2019 was a success and what’s left to do now is wish Ubuntu Football Academy all the best for the Champs of Champs in Gauteng.

 

This is how the teams ended.
1. Ubuntu Football
2. Cape Town City
3. Stellenbosch FC
4. Hanover Park FC
5. Hellenic
6. Ajax Cape Town
7. Bayview FC
8. Wanderers FC
9. Cape Umoya
10. Everton
11. JL Zwane
12. Wynberg St Johns
13. FN Rangers
14. Ulana Academy
15. Santos
16. Jomos Power

 

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.

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.

Park & Nova share spoils

So, two games done and dusted in the SAB League and already some are making predictions. Premature many would say as this year’s start has already been exciting.

To kick off the season newcomers Nova Nacional, who purchased the Riverside Rangers spot, hosted an exciting launch at the River Club and with that sending a strong message to the rest of the football world that they mean business. With strong financial backing and a clear vision the team attracted high expectation from others.

After their two matches they have earned a point after losing to Greenwood and drawing with Hanover Park last Friday. The Hanover Park vs Nova Nacional match felt like a match between two sides yet to find their rhythm. For Nacional it is obvious as every match for them is a new experience and for Hanover Park it was probably new Head Coach Jerome Seherie implementing his style on the group.
Hanover Park looked more the assertive side especially in the first half with experienced midfielder Fernel Abrahams calling the shots. On the counter though the Nacional team created chances and in the 15th minute Rubin Matts had Nova’s first shot on target but was saved by Gary Jassman, the Park goalkeeper.

Nova’s next clear chance was in the 30th minute when Faizel Johnson found himself taking a shot in the 18 yard area but once again Jassman saved for Park.
In the next few minutes Hanover Park came close to scoring but missed the target twice when defender Nathan Idas headed wide from corner set pieces.

The 40th minute was the last chance created in the half for Nova when Wesley Lottering held onto the ball too long and was tackled in the box causing the ball to ricochet to Matts who saw his shot saved again by Jassman diving to his bottom left, collecting the ball.

At halftime the match was goalless but with Hanover Park looking more likely to score as they were much sharper to the ball while Nova was containing the pressure and creating chances from the break.

Hanover Park Warming up

It didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock as Xola Balele took advantage of a breakdown during the Nova play and scored the opener in the 10th minute.

Nova Nacional equalised in the 24th minute when the ball was played over the Park defence and Faizel Johnson was first to react and slipped the ball pass Jassman and into the back of the net.

The rest of the half had opportunities for both sides but the away side showing more purpose in their attack. The match ended 1-1.