Doc­tor Khu­malo in ac­tion

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By STEPHEN PEN­NEY

Doc­tor Khu­malo, for­mer Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs player, is set to show off his soc­cer skills at JD Dlepu Sta­dium to­mor­row, dur­ing the launch of the in­au­gu­ral New Year's Cup.

Luyanda Papu, or­gan­iser of the New Year’s Cup con­firmed that Doc­tor Khu­malo will play for a few min­utes dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony’s ex­hi­bi­tion match.

The ex­hi­bi­tion match will be be­tween Eastern Cape Leg- ends vs Dis­trict Le­gands. Papu said that Doc­tor Khu­malo will play a few min­utes for each side.

Other guests at the open­ing cer­e­mony in­clude An­to­nio Bar­radas (Di­rec­tor of La Liga in Africa), Danny Jor­daan (South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent), Den­nis Mum­ble (Safa CEO), as well as Stan­ton Fred­er­icks (for­mer Bafana Bafana and Bid­vest Wits player).

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Sarah Baart­man Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the Depart­ment of Sport, Recre­ation, Arts and Cul­ture, Safa Eastern Cape and Makana Lo­cal Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion will also be in at­ten­dance.

While gates open at 9am, pro­ceed­ings are set to get un­der way at 11am.

The ex­hi­bi­tion match is sched­uled for 12.30pm, while the open­ing match of the New Year’s Cup will kick-off at 2pm.

The open­ing games will see Gra­ham­stown-based Pioneers take on Mountain Stars from Mthatha. This is the only of­fi­cial New Year’s Cup on the open­ing day.

To­mor­row’s ac­tion is sched­uled to start at 10am and games will be played through­out the day. Venues for the New Year’s Cup matches are JD Dlepu (main venue), Miki Yili, Fid­dlers Green, Rhodes Univer­sity King Field and the mil­i­tary base sports field.

Up to 15 games will be played each day from Satur- day to Mon­day, which will see all teams con­clud­ing their group matches. Tues­day is a rest day, be­fore the top 16 bat­tle it out for a spot in the top 8.

From Wed­nes­day 23 De­cem­ber, matches will only be played at Miki Yili and JD Dlepu Sta­di­ums.

Fri­day 23 De­cem­ber is the sec­ond rest day, but matches will be played on Christ­mas Day.

Papu said res­i­dents should go to church on Christ­mas Day, but af­ter church he en­cour­aged them to come and watch foot­ball, in­stead of “stay­ing at home and drink­ing”.

The semi-fi­nals are sched­uled for 28 De­cem­ber, while the third place play-off and the fi­nal to de­ter­mine the New Year’s Cup champion will take place at JD Dlepu Sta­dium on Satur­day 31 De­cem­ber.

To stay tuned to all the New Year's Cup ac­tion, Like the Gro­cott’s Mail Sport Face­book page.

Photo: Stephen Pen­ney

Makana Rhini United (Maru), in green, en­joyed a morale boost­ing 3-2 win against United Eleven as part of the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion SAB re­gional league fix­ture at Fid­dlers Green on Satur­day. Eleven At­tack­ers are the re­gional league de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons. Maru will be hop­ing to take Satur­day’s form into the New Year's Cup, but they have been drawn in what or­gan­iser Luyanda Papu calls the group of death. Also in the same group are neigh­bours City Pi­rates, MK Academy ( Whit­tle­sea) and Young Chiefs (Alice). Maru bat­tled in the derby games this year, so Satur­day’s match against City Pi­rates will be a big one for both sides.

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