Diski is coming home... and it’s coming to 7764 Stadium!
Jimmy Nevis says: “They call it heaven, they call it hell”.
Cape Town City and Stellenbosch is a bigger deal than all the other derbies this season, I’m just not sure if you’re ready to have this conversation just yet.
And this is not me trying to start something crazy or anything like that.
I spoke to City media man Julian “Kwetsa” Bailey there inside. Coach Eric Tinkler has taken full advantage of the international break and a bye they got this past weekend.
They were supposed to play against Marumo Gallants, but the Nedbank Cup champions had the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round.
Striker Fagrie Lakay and star midfielder Thabo Nodada are back at training from injuries. They had some Covid-19 cases too and even those players are now back at training.
It still bugs my mind why we don’t have Monday press conferences! It is, after all, the day the players are relaxed, no?
You might catch them hanging out casually in the training area, or doing individual training and drills. There are stories and fresh reactions and all the emotion.
It’s Covid times, we need to adapt and update them on how we’ve been doing things in SA diski.
But clubs will tell you about players who need a break after the weekend. Look bafethu, diski is 24-7. Monday to Monday! There are no days off.
We need a space to talk about the weekend. What’s a few hours spent with the media and talking idiski?
All eyes will be on Athlone Stadium, where I think we have the biggest story of the season so far in the upcoming match between City and Stellies.
Steve Barker’s Stellies might’ve gone top of the table if they didn’t let Chibuike Ohizu score for Sekhukhune United in the 1-1 at Ellis Park on Saturday!
It would’ve been quite a statement too, to do it right there in the middle of Jozi!
It wasn’t to be however, and they now sit in second place, which isn’t a bad consolation.
But they’re visiting a team that has played one game less and only a point behind them.
It’s a nice position to be in for the Citizens, which forces Barker’s men to come out for all three points and keep up with Mamelodi Sundowns and whoever else is keen to throw their name in the championship race hat.
Founded in 2016, City have won two domestic cups already. I’m quite certain there are fine-looking replica displayed nicely there in their cabinet.
I’m really enthusiastic about what I’ve seen from the Citizens on the pitch.
Taariq Fielies and Thabo Nodada are senior players in the team now and have to drive the team’s ambition on the pitch.
Terrence Mashego is really taking off and has put his hand up as one of the best wingbacks in the country.
Then there are guys who add colour and vibes to the team, like Edmilson Dove from Mozambique. Which means new goalkeeper Hugo Marques from Angola is in good hands if he needs a Portuguese translator. And coach Eric is fluent too.
I really like Khanyisa Mayo. He’s really showing some great energy in blue and yellow.
He’s such a fine example of what I think should be a standard journey of a local footballer – if a youngster doesn’t go the direct route to the pros, the journey via the Diski Challenge to the NFD and then to PSL should be encouraged.
Mayo is looking so ready for what’s going on around him right now.
I just wish they could feel the love from fans at the stadiums.
Meanwhile, Stellies’ reserves set the “precedent going into this weekend” with a 1-0 win over their City rivals in the MDC match at Malta Park on Sunday morning. I can only imagine the vibe when the young U21s were going at it.
It’s really cool to see that both City and Stellies are pushing a lot of U20 local talent at this stage. I can see both clubs comfortably playing this PSL mini-league with U16s in the next year or two.
The senior team is a fresh mix of young talent and veteran experience. They have had four different goalscorers in their two draws and a win. So a goal can come from anyone in their team. I’m looking forward to an exciting game!