united drum up support
Tired of playing in front of empty stands in their home games, SuperSport United stepped up their efforts to gain the support of Atteridgeville residents on Saturday.
The Absa Premiership champions announced the signing of a three-year, R75000-a-year sponsorship deal with the Pelindaba Football Association at Super Stadium. The Association has 50 teams, ranging from under-11 to the top division.
Atteridgeville residents have stayed away from the team's home matches, played on their doorstep, raising suggestions they have not claimed the team as their own.
Some residents have said they saw no point in watching a team that does not have even one player from their township in it. The situation is the same in the club's junior ranks, with just three local boys in a group of 60 players.
United Assistant coach Thomas Madigage - who grew up in Atteridgeville - said that is why the club will look on the Pelindaba Football League as their source of talent.
"It is sad that Koena Mathopa and Raymond Seopa were the last players to come out of a township with such a rich soccer history. I believe we can do better, and am appealing to the community to help us.
"While soccer has been dying in Atteridgeville, the club has been going to Cape Town and Venda to find players," said Madigage.
PFL chairman Victor Raletjena appealed to the community to get behind the team and the league.
"United will want to see that their investment is bearing fruit, and as an association we have to depend on our community to help us have a long and fruitful relationship with them," he said.
A tournament, where the United Academy teams played against the PFL boys, rounded off the day's events.
The Academy teams had a good day, winning the Under-15 match 2-1, the Under-17 encounter 2-0 and the Top Division match 3-0.