COOK 7 CLARKE 9
Cape’s challenge for the PSL is still going strong
YOU often hear coaches of First Division clubs say all they care about is scoring more goals than the opposition.
Former Bay United coach David Bright wasn’t one for beating around the bush on this matter.
As far as he was concerned tactics, style of play and buildups towards goal mattered for little if the final objective wasn’t achieved.
Black Leopards coach Kostadin Papic is cut from the same cloth.
During a post-match interview after his side’s 2-1 win over log-leading Cape side Milano United last weekend he said: “We won because we scored two goals and they scored one. How we scored them is irrelevant, all that mattered was the final score, and that favoured us,”
That’s life for you in the NFD. The 16 competing teams in the second tier of South African football have only one goal: To outdo one another in whatever way possible to win the league title and secure PSL status.
If you’re looking for quality football, you’re in the wrong place. If you have watched an NFD match over the years you will agree that the standard of play has dipped markedly.
A spectator (a former PSL player) at a recent match in Cape Town speculated as to why. “Today’s players are 10-fold less disciplined and have things too easy,” he said.
“Also, the infrastructure to nurture talent through the age groups, is all but non-existent.
“The good old days are gone. Money, rather than skill rules the pitches.”
“It’s not that people don’t have the money to cough up the small entry fee, they just don’t feel the fare on offer is worthy of watching,” he added.
“That’s why you see empty stadiums. I remember, when growing up, how full the grounds were One got to see a few games before the main game and the matches provided quality. A re-look into the past may provide answers to the future …”
As for the state of the game in the Cape, there’s plenty to be happy about at this level. Five teams – Milano, Santos, Chippa, Vasco da Gama and FC Cape Town – compete in the NFD and all, but Town, are making a bold bid for league honours.
Should that play out, and there’s a real chance it will, then Cape football fans will have a second team joining Ajax Cape Town in the PSL next season.
As things stand on the log, Milano, despite two straight losses away from home, still enjoy a four-point lead at the top of the standings over Chippa (25), while Vasco (24) and Santos (22) complete the top four.
Town, sadly, are in the relegation zone.