Stars ready to move up

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Mpumalanga Vodacom League side Barberton City Stars have vowed to raise the number of teams from the province in the National First Division to three - joining Witbank Spurs and Mpumalanga Black aces.

Stars won the provincial league and are now heading for the promotion playoffs in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, between May 18 and 24.

It will be the third time that the team from Barberton participates in the playoffs. Stars succumbed to University of Pretoria in the 2002-03 season and to GaRankuwa United in 2004-05.

Aaron Shongwe, who guided Stars to the playoffs both times, said: "We are going into the playoffs for promotion this time around. We are tired of playing in this division and we are now looking forward to the NFD next season."

Stars have bolstered their squad with Ndumiso Khoza, Ayanda Xaba and Steven Mhlongo from Witbank Spurs, and Mandla Mabaso from Middelburg Saints.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations the Vodacom League will see two teams per province competing in the playoffs - the champions and runners-up.

Batau Killers secured the second playoff spot in Mpumalanga.

Other teams that have already secured their places in the playoffs are: Mabopane Tigers (Gauteng); Classic (Limpopo); City of Matlosana United and Mothupi Birds (North West); Carara Kicks and Mafube United (Free State); Bush Bucks and Matatiele Professionals (Eastern Cape); and Maritzburg City (KwaZulu-Natal).