Cape Town City suddenly have a choice of venue for Chiefs showdown
Team to decide between Cape Town Stadium and Newlands
Cape Town City suddenly have a choice of venue for their fixture against Kaizer Chiefs next week and will decide in the next few days whether it will be played at Cape Town Stadium or Newlands.
One week ago it looked as if there would be a crisis about the venue for the game and the club would be forced to take the match outside the province‚ as they had to do last season when there was a similar problem in the Mother City.
Cape Town Stadium is City’s preferred home venue but the field had to be relaid after the Monster Jam auto spectacle at the end of April.
Adverse weather conditions meant germination of the new seeds was slow and the field still a mess by the time the new season started at the beginning of August.
This sparked a furious outburst from City chair John Comitis‚ who accused the stadium’s management of not serving football as they should.
City moved their first home match of the season against Stellenbosch FC to Athlone Stadium, but because of a clash with Ajax Cape Town this past Saturday had to scramble to find another venue for the MTN8 quarterfinals.
It was only at the start of the week that they managed to secure Newlands‚ a venue traditionally not too keen on football but suddenly tripping over themselves to help.
The matter was further clouded by an incident on Friday when City officials accompanied Premier Soccer League’s ground expert Ronnie Schloss to Cape Town Stadium for an inspection but were refused entry.
City were told they “did not have an appointment”.
This sparked more fury from Comitis and some back-pedalling from the stadium‚ who allowed City to inspect the field on Monday.
The turf is now under hot lamps to try and help the grass grow quicker in the hope it will be ready for the Chiefs game, but City are waiting until midweek to make a final call.
* Consistent performances are key if Chippa United are to avoid another gut-wrenching‚ fear-filled season fighting against the possibility of relegation‚ says coach Clinton Larsen.
“We don’t want to go through again what we did last campaign.
“Our ambition this season is to change that‚ and the only way to do that is to get consistent results‚” says the coach after two successive draws at the start of the new season.
Larsen was parachuted into Port Elizabeth in January to rescue the relegation-bound club‚ which he achieved on the last day of the season‚ and has had the chance since to clean house and bring on board new players and begin to set different objectives for his squad.
A gap of 10 days between league fixtures is being grasped by the coach as a positive rather than a negative‚ as Chippa United prepare for a weekend trip to Durban to meet Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ the club that fired Larsen just after Christmas in 2018.
They scored a late‚ morale-boosting equaliser to hold champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 draw last Wednesday in their last outing.
“I see the time off as a good opportunity for more time to train together‚” he said.
“The breaks allow us to work on things that ordinarily we would not find the time to do.
“I feel there is always work to be done on the training field.”
With a host of new signings‚ Larsen says there is added work.
“We use these days for the gelling process.”
Larsen hopes the fighting spirit shown against Sundowns will prove key against Arrows.