Nomads Stellenbosch FC hoping to finally return home in April
Stellenbosch FC are hoping to finally go back to their backyard in April and play their last three home games of the year in Stellenbosch‚ starting with the Western Cape derby against Cape Town City.
The Premiership rookies have been nomads this season after the suffocating stadium restrictions imposed by the Premier Soccer League denied them a chance to use venues in their home town.
All of their home matches this season have been at either Athlone Stadium or the Cape Town Stadium.
But after alleged pressure from tycoon Johan Rupert‚ whose company owns the club‚ both Stellenbosch FC and Stellenbosch University authorities have got together in an effort to make improvements to the Danie Craven Stadium on the campus.
This includes the turnstiles at the stadium and security fencing.
It should be ready by the end of March‚ allowing Stellenbosch to finally return home for their April 4 derby against struggling City‚ and the potentially important matches against Chippa United and AmaZulu after that.
Stellenbosch won the National First Division last season on the back of passionate community support at the Idas Valley Stadium‚ but the PSL refused to allow any top-flight games there‚ calling facilities inadequate.
This denied Stellenbosch much-needed crowd support with only a few hundred fans able to make the expensive trek to Cape Town every time they played a home match.
Coach Steve Barker said it also meant his side felt more like the away team than those they were playing against.
Stellenbosch FC are at Athlone Stadium on Friday night when they host Baroka FC.