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Richards Bay FC boss says the club will return to uMhlathuze next season

20 May 2022 - 10:15 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Richards Bay celebrate after the GladAfrica Championship match against Cape Town Spurs at King Zwelithini Stadium on May 15 2022 in Durban. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
Richards Bay celebrate after the GladAfrica Championship match against Cape Town Spurs at King Zwelithini Stadium on May 15 2022 in Durban. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
Image: Darren Stewart

Owner of the recently promoted Richards Bay club, Sifiso “Jomo” Biyela, says plans to bring top flight football to northern KwaZulu-Natal are afoot, and the team  is keeping coach Pitso Dladla.

The Natal Rich Boyz, who are based in Richards Bay in northern of KwaZulu-Natal, won the GladAfrica Championship and subsequently gained entry to the DStv Premiership.

While this is great news for the region, there are issues that the team plays their home games in Durban, which is a two-hour drive from Richards Bay.

For the past two years the team has been playing their home matches at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi because uMhlathuze Sports Complex in Richards Bay doesn’t meet Premier Soccer League standards.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t use uMhlathuze Sports Complex because there was an issue of compliance,” Biyela said.

“But I know the (uMhlathuze) municipality is busy working on the issues. I can assure you next season we will be playing our games there.”

The venue has hosted top tier football before as Thanda Royal Zulu hosted Orlando Pirates in a Nedbank Cup game a few years back.

However, poor maintenance of the facility has seen it not meeting standards for  hosting a second tier match.

Biyela said he is not planning to sack coach Dladla, who led the team to the big time, despite media reports stating otherwise.

It has become norm in SA football that when a team is promoted, the owners quietly start looking for another coach to lead the team in the top-tier.

“The coach knows t he is going to be part of the team next season. He knows that very well,” Biyela said.

“The people who are doing that are agents who are pushing for their coaches to get a job here. We are aware of how football is run. Tere are agents who are using the media to push that narrative.

“The official statement is that the coach will be here next season,” he said.

“There are even those who are saying the team is on sale. Everyone is saying what they want to say.”


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