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Cape Town soccer not up to scratch

Alicia Pillay
Opinion

Alicia Pillay looks at the dismal performance of Cape Town's soccer teams.

Another football season has passed and Cape fans have no trophies or accolades to brag about. 

This is in stark contrast to the last campaign, where Ajax Cape Town were challenging for league honours and Thulani Serero cleaned up at the PSL awards. 

However, Ajax coach Maarten Stekelenburg doesn't think it’s all doom and gloom for his club. 

The Dutchman rated his team seven out of 10 this season, saying they had more ups than downs, despite missing out on a top eight finish. 

Way too high Maarten! You finished ninth on the log right? They were below average so a four out of ten seems fair. 

I have watched nearly all of Ajax’s games this season and one glaring fact was their inability to play well for 90 minutes. 

There were patches where some passes were strung together and the team played an enterprising game, but this wasn’t sustained at all. 

Secondly I know one man doesn’t make a team but they did miss Serero in their attack. 

His eye for a goal was second to none and his skills helped the likes of Khama Billiat bring in the goals. 

However Terror Fanteni is a natural goal scorer but injury and swaying fitness levels didn’t help him this season. 

The pressure then fell on Billiat to score the goals but the pressure proved to be too much. 

Meanwhile, Stekelenburg’s counterpart at Santos, Mart Nooij, is still fighting to keep their top flight status. 

The People's Team wants to avoid a repeat of the 97/98 season when they were relegated. 

Nooij is someone who does not mince his words. 

Despite winning their final league match they were forced into the promotion/relegation playoffs and afterwards Nooij simply said: “We are men, we have to have balls. Football is like that, if you are disappointed, sitting like a sissy and crying like children in the dressing room, that won’t be good.” 

Santos did try to bolster their team during the season with experienced players Nasief  Morries, Gert Schalkwyk and Matthew Pattison joining. The latter decided to leave the club before his stay was up. 

Santos has never been a big money spending club and rather use players from its youth ranks or bring in talent that does not cost much. 

I suppose you can’t put a price tag on talent, not that I am saying that Santos are lacking talent in any way.

But if they really want to compete with the ‘bigger’ clubs and win trophies then they are going to have to invest in their team.

The story of the season though could be Chippa United, should they be cleared of their allegations of registering a player fraudulently.

The Phillpi-based team is owned by business man Siviwe Mpangesi or better known as Chippa.

It’s a rags to riches story for Mpengesi who was working as a security guard, went on to start his own security company and later fulfilled his dream of owning a soccer team.

Mpengesi wasted no time saying that his team couldn’t celebrate just yet as they hadn’t achieved anything.

Chippa have a big fan base in Phillpi and getting into the PSL will do more for their club.

Santos’ fan base has certainly dwindled in the past few years; they used to have more support than Ajax in the past but that has changed in recent years.

It will be bitter sweet because Santos would be relegated, but maybe it’s what they need to start rebuilding a stronger team.

Behind the scenes relegation won’t be good, as people could lose their job.

On the players front many are keeping their cards close to their chest in terms of moves should they be relegated, saying they would only decided when they knew if they would still be in the Premiership or not. 

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