Fri Oct 21 02:47:02 SAST 2016

It's all systems go for the NFD

By unknown | Sep 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

The delay in the kickoff of the National First Division (NFD) might have caused teams to idle, but club officials contacted yesterday said it's all systems go for their players.

The NFD will finally kick off on September 28 after weeks of uncertainty about the future of this division.

This delay was caused by the termination of the sponsorship for the NFD and a court case involving PJ Stars.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has restructured the NFD and it now comprises two streams made up of eight clubs each. This is part of the PSL bid to cut travelling costs.

The winners of each stream will play against each other and the team that wins will gain automatic promotion to the Premiership.

The losing team will play in the playoffs that will comprise the teams that finished second in each stream and the club that finishes 15th in the Premiership to decide the second team for promotion.

Irvin Khoza, the PSL's chairman, also announced last week that they had tripled the teams' monthly grants from R50 000 to R150 000.

Morris Chokoe, Winnerspark co-director, said though the delay had affected their players, they were looking forward to the new season.

"We can't continue complaining and we are happy that the season will finally kick off next weekend," he said.

"We have been all worried about the whole matter, but we are now happy the league finally got the solution."

Themba Mafu of Witbank Spurs said: "Obviously, we are excited that we are starting on September 28. The players are hard at training and we hope we will do well this season."

Phindani Nene, Durban Stars' boss, said: "It has been a very difficult time for us as we did not know about our future.

"It was also costly for us because we have been paying players for doing nothing. The players can't wait for the matches to start."

Farouk Kadodia, Maritzburg United chairman, added: "It was very frustrating but we are no longer talking about the past and we are also ready for the kickoff."

July Malabela, Dynamos' director, said: "The delay has benefited us because all the players know each other well."

The Coastal Stream comprises Nathi Lions, Durban Stars, Ikapa Sporting (formerly Fidentia Rangers), Western Province United, FC Cape Town (formerly Vasco da Gama), Maritzburg United, Hanover Park and Bay United.

The Inland Stream is made up of Winnerspark, Dynamos, GaRankuwa United, FC AK, Pretoria United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, Spurs and African Warriors.


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