Stars are eager to shine again

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Barberton City Stars want to start the new season by reclaiming their Heidel Eggs and BJ Group Autumn Soccer Challenge.

Stars won the inaugural event in 2006 but failed to defend it last year, losing to Manchester United.

Stars will face Nyamazane Celtics in a semifinal game slated for Matsulu Stadium on Sunday at 3pm.

Patrick "Bazooka" Phiri, Stars' coach, said last season was not theirs.

"We have since assembled a new squad, trying to build an all-conquering squad for the new season. We have about six new players we recruited from local football associations and the tournament will offer them an opportunity to prove to us that they are ready to play in the Vodacom League," said Phiri.

But Pro Twala, Celtics coach, said: "I don't see Stars standing in our way. This is our cup."

The event is contested by five sides from the Ehlanzeni region of Mpumalanga who are campaigning in the Vodacom League and two teams from the SAB Castle League. Four women's teams from the region are also involved in their version of the event.

The sponsors of the tournament, Heidel Eggs and BJ Group, have contributed R130 000 towards the tournament.

The rest of the fixtures: Sunday - men: Yorkcor United v Ehlanzeni Barcelona (11am).

Women: Nyongane Real Stars v NV Gunners (9am); Francis Ladies v Flamingo (3pm).