Weaving magic in Bay with Chiefs in last-16 surprise
Owner George Dearnaley is hoping for some magic when his team take on Kaizer Chiefs in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
Cape Town ABC Motsepe League side The Magic, who are the fairytale story of the Nedbank Cup this season, host the Soweto giants in a last-16 tie at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
Dearnaley said it was unfortunate that they had to move out of Cape Town for logistical reasons but they were looking forward to playing in the Bay.
“Wherever you play Kaizer Chiefs it’s a home game for them. So for us to travel away is hard but it was always going to be hard, even if we played them in our own backyard.
“So, the travelling is all part of what I am calling an adventure,” Dearnaley said.
“The team is called ‘The Magic’ and for me this is the magic of football.”
The former Bafana Bafana striker also shed more light on why they had to move the fixture.
“The draw for the last-16 made us the home team and the responsibility for the home team is to secure a home venue,” Dearnaley said.
“There were some issues around the game because we are playing Kaizer Chiefs.
“The sponsors wanted Kaizer Chiefs to come on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday.
“So the Friday night was not an option for us. Monday and Tuesday night were also not an option to play Chiefs – we had to play them on a Saturday or Sunday.
“Unfortunately, in Cape Town there are only two stadiums that meet PSL regulations – the Cape Town Stadium and the Athlone Stadium,” he said.
“Cape Town [stadium] was booked eight months ago for an international event happening over the whole weekend. “So that was not an option.” Dearnaley said the Athlone Stadium had also been booked for Cape Minstrels – an annual music and dance concert.
He said the only stadium in Cape Town that was compliant with PSL regulations and big enough to accommodate a large crowd was the Newlands Rugby Stadium but its cost was prohibitive.
“That was one problem but the biggest problem was actually that Newlands Rugby Stadium is covered with branding of other financial sponsors.
“Nedbank does not want to show a TV game in such a stadium.”
Dearnaley said the next option was to look for a coastal venue because a highveld stadium would play into the hands of Chiefs.
“So the two options were the East London stadium and the Port Elizabeth stadium because of the size of the game.
“It was our decision to choose Port Elizabeth because it’s closer to Cape Town.”
He said the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was a perfect choice.
“It’s a World Cup stadium. For my players to play in a World Cup stadium is also part of an incredible experience.”..