East London soccer fans will be treated to top-class action when Chippa United lock horns with Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs for the Premier’s Cup at Sisa Dukashe Stadium next Saturday.
This will be the first time the Amakhosi will be playing at the NU2 venue as they have not played in East London for 13 years.
Chiefs will be the latest high-profile PSL team to visit these shores. Last season the Chilli Boys brought African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town, Golden Arrows, Highlands Park, while EC Bees also hosted Orlando Pirates at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium.
Chilli Boys chairman Chippa Mpengesi confirmed that the Chiefs game is one of eight that the Port Elizabeth-based team will play in Buffalo City.
There will be six PSL games while Chiefs’ bitter rivals Pirates are expected to play in the Mayor’s Cup against Chippa.
“We are doing this for our fans in Buffalo City and it is good that our government continues to be involved with the team.
“This match will be great entertainment for everyone because I know Chiefs has got a fan base in Eastern Cape.
“Most importantly this game will set the tone for our team in this coming PSL season,” said Mpengesi.
Mpengesi also thanked Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle for supporting the team since their arrival some three years ago.
“The Sports Department, Safa-BCM and the host city Buffalo City have been supportive and we are humbled.”
Both Chiefs and Chippa have strengthened their teams ahead of the 2017-18 season with the Chilli Boys confirming the signing of the likes of Mark Mayambela, Kurt Lentjies and Brighton Mhlongo while Kaizer Chiefs have signed the likes of Bongolethu Jayiya, Philani Zulu and Teenage Hadebe and they will be looking to consolidate their preparations.
After Downs coach Pitso Mosimane’s criticism of the Sisa Dukashe playing surface last season, Buffalo City Metro have said the pitch will be in perfect condition.
General manager in the office of the executive mayor at BCM, Sthembiso Khanyile said the stadium’s drainage was not performing to its best capabilities but they have dealt with that particular issue.
“If you remember that match against Sundowns, it had rained for about a week before. The drainage system was not performing optimally.
“So we have now replaced the drainage system because the pitch was done before the stadium was approved by the PSL.”
He said they also replaced some grass patches in some parts of the stadium.
“The six more matches that we will host will only be towards December, because we want to allow that process of doing the major work in the stadium, but the pitch is in excellent condition.”
Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung welcomed the match-up.
“We need high impact games and competitive preseason friendlies. We want to start the league as a well-oiled machine.
“The Premier Cup will be a good dress-rehearsal for the start of the league programme,” said Motaung.