Tag: league

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

 

SAFA CT Youth Awarded

On Tuesday night 19th November, the SAFA Cape Town Youth Awards was held at the Mayoral Suite in the Civic Centre.

The evening was dedicated to acknowledging and recognizing the achievements by youth players on the field. Girls and boys from U15 and U17 teams were acknowledged for doing well in the regional and provincial teams.

To kick off the evening were two speakers, Leigh Brophy and Hans Vonk, who offered motivation to the youth players in attendance.

Leigh Brophy delivered a motivational talk at the event

Leigh Brophy is our U17 national goalkeeper who relayed her story and her continuing journey in football thus far. Her talk was inspiring to say the least and her delivery was on point. Her main advice to the youth was to maintain a balance between football, school, and God.
Leigh’s football journey started with a club called Roma FC in the Regional Womens League (RWL). In 2017 at the age of 15 she was scouted by UCT who she still currently plays for. The regional and provincial trials were quickly endured and she soon became part of the national setup.

    • Her dream to represent her country was always the goal and gradually extended to playing outside of the country. Leigh gives much credit to Coach Mark Kapman who inspired and motivated her to achieve all that she has while her role models since the start of her playing career have been her two older brothers who she still learns from. Brophy is speedily recovering from a knee injury while she is completing her Matric and looks forward to getting back into action to claim the No.1 jersey for the National side; we wish her all the luck for the rest of her football journey.

Hans Vonk, former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and current Head of Youth at Ajax Cape Town delivered his short and direct message to all in attendance. Vonk stressed the importance of having a structured setup with quality coaches to drive the development of youth football.
He shared his football journey and how Foppe De Haan, the renowned Dutch coach, positively influenced youth football at the club.

Keynote speaker for the evening was Councillor Anthony Moses and he touched on various key points including the importance of sport in our communities. With mentioning the remembrance of those who have fallen during the season through either violent acts or injury on the field, he stressed the value of respect for one another when taking part in a contact sport.

The importance of planning and improving facilities was also raised and he informed the audience that is the priority of the city. The councillor also noted the enhancement of the relationship between the city and SAFA CT and the importance thereof for ensuring the development of youth in sport.

Big Winners

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Female and Male Youth Player of the year.

Female and Male Youth Player of the year

Tiyana Carollisen (female) and Toguer Claasen (male) were awarded the prestigious titles last night and we had a quick sit down with the two winners.

Carollisen was clearly shocked that she received the award but nevertheless felt it was deserved after all the sacrifices she together with her family had made in her football career.
Claasen was unable to hide his joy as he sat with the awarded trophy. The young Silver Spurs player was happy that he could assist his team by scoring goals when needed and is hoping for a bright future in the game.

For Tiyana her immediate focus is finishing her exams and then prepares for the playoffs with her club team, Vasco Da Gama and voices her encouragement to the youth to just keep trying until it happens for them.

Toguer shares her encouragement but also adds that youth get involved with clubs, keep training and play as much as they can.

 

Goalless draw in Paarl heat

The ABC Motsepe League in the Western Cape commenced with week 5 this past weekend and we took the trip to Mbekweni Sports Field in Paarl where Batalion FC played host to Grassy Park Utd.

The home side, now coached by Boebie Solomons, have recorded 2 wins before this encounter and boasts one of the better defensive records in the league only conceding 2 goals in their matches played. Solomons would’ve expected this record to be challenged as the visitors have netted 13 goals in their 4 matches played and it comes as no surprise as Grassy Park have assembled quite an experienced squad this year.

Coach Theo Hempe, back at GP after having been dismissed in the 2017/2018 season returns this season and heads a star-studded squad with the likes of Jerry Mxabo, Roysten Rhoda and Tshepiso Tlhapi who offer years of experience to the unit. Not forgetting the younger playmakers like Craig Joemath, Luke Vester and Fawaaz Bassadien.

Describing the weather as hot on Saturday in Paarl would be an understatement as the sun seemed to be stationary and with no accompanying wind to mention. The match however started at a high tempo with Batalion showing the ascendancy and forcing the away side to defend for the 1st quarter of the match.

The home side managed to place the ball in the GP net but celebrations were cut short as the far side assistant had his flag raised for an offside. Batalion were outnumbering their opponents in the midfield as GP’s Waseem George and Jerry Mxabo were positioned as twin strikers while Nazier Jacobs laid quite deep, leaving Luke Vester on his own to deal with the approaching Batalion playmakers.

The home side were efficient in their attack and owning more possession of the ball with Aphiwe Mkuzo and Siyabulela Mbenenge creating opportunities in front of goal. GP were guilty of a too slow build up from the back in the first 25 mins of the half and had to do quite a share of defending during that time.

The last 20 mins of the half was more balanced as GP got the ball to their front players quicker than before and either of their strikers got closer to the midfield causing them to create combinations and get the ball out wide where the crosses were delivered from.

Fawaaz Basadien from GP showed his class as he eased past defenders to create opportunities while his teammate Craig Joemath showed his attacking capabilities as he started a few attacks from his position at left-back.

Just before the halftime break Batalion’s Mbenenge saw his free-kick attempt, which was just inside the GP half, hit the crossbar and cleared by the opponent’s defence.

From the restart, it was evident that both coaches influenced the match by their tactical changes. For Solomons, his team started playing the quickest route to the front two who were applying pressure on the GP centre backs. The long pass was delivered behind the defence into space with the front strikers of Batalion running onto the end of the pass. They were unfortunately not able to capitalize as the defensive pair of Rhoda and Tlhapi stood firm and cut out any danger.

For Hempe, his team were now looking to use the width of the pitch and with the introduction of Thurlo Wood at wide left, caused many problems for the Batalion defence. Wood could consider himself unlucky not to earn his side a penalty as his turn of pace saw him fouled inside the penalty area but the man in the middle called it as no foul.

The rest of the half had action on both ends of the pitch but neither of them could make them count. The visitors were awarded a penalty late in the 2nd half when Yusuf Abrahams was adjudged to be brought down in the penalty area of Batalion. Basadien missed his attempt as he hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper diving in the opposite direction.

Batalion had the last attack but failed to convert and saw the match end in a goalless draw.

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 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!!

Bellstar fail to repeat positive result

On Saturday we popped in at Symphony way Sports field to catch some action between Bellstar United and Nova Nacional.

Bellstar recorded a great win in their previous match against log leaders Matroosfontein and probably felt very positive going into this encounter.

It was Nova though that had a near perfect start when Joshua Roman scored in the 4th minute off a set piece where the goalkeeper of Bellstar, Marlon Van Wyk, failed to collect the ball after miscommunication with his defenders. Roman took full advantage of the mishap and scored the opener.

With the home side trailing 1-0, they managed to settle back into the game and by the 20th minute the match was a bit more balanced. Bellstar also started asserting themselves with quick passing and great combinations with midfielder Ismail Lot doing a good job in linking with the attacking players.

Bellstar keeper Marlon Van Wyk taps the ball over the crossbar

Nova Nacional were forced to defend and attempt to capitalize on the counter as Bellstar created numerous opportunities but were unable to find the final pass and convert their chances.

The second half saw Nova with an improving performance as they worked on keeping Bellstar on the back foot. The introduction of Ramario Van De Meulen for the home side posed a headache for the Nacional defence especially for right back Keanan Green.

Van De Meulen displayed his pace off the ball as he managed to get behind the Nova defensive line on more than one occasion.

The home side were dealt a blow in the 35th minute of the second half when they had a defender red carded for committing a professional foul on Nova’s Adeeb Khan. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Khan was brought down just outside the box.

Angelo Barrote of Nova and Ismail Lot from Bellstar battle for possession

Bellstar still created some opportunities but were unable to find the equaliser and record their 6th loss of the season. Nova Nacional on the other hand continue their winning ways after beating Bayview FC the previous week and move to 7th spot on the log.

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.