The now defunct Platinum Stars, which relocated to Cape Town and was renamed Cape Umoya United FC, began their NFD campaign with a 1-1 draw away at TS Galaxy, before playing out another draw in their first home game of the season, keeping neighbours Ajax Cape Town at bay in a goalless stalemate played at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.
Following the point gained at the iconic World Cup Stadium in the Mother City, De Sa says it didn’t feel like a second-tier encounter, insisting that the level is very close to that of the PSL.
“You wouldn’t have said it was an NFD game – it felt like a normal night playing Ajax, to be honest,” he said. “I must say, I was wary about the officiating and things like that, but after two games it’s not different to the PSL – it’s been pretty good. And the players carry themselves pretty well too. So far so good. The training is exactly the same, we don’t do anything different, so it doesn’t feel like the NFD.”
Following Umoya’s trip to Galaxy in the opening round, De Sa says he feels the NFD has upped its game, and feels many PSL clubs can take a leaf from the NFD’s book.
“I think the NFD has stepped up a little bit – there was a worry that the MultiChoice Diski Challenge would push the NFD down a bit, which it did in the first two years, but I must say there are a lot of good players, good teams and good clubs in the league,” he said. “If you had seen Tim Sukazi’s effort in his home ground at Kameelrivier, it was fantastic – full crowd, banners, drum majorettes, the king … if the PSL sides made that much effort, I think the game would be in a much better state.”
Umoya are on the road again for their third game of the season against Maccabi FC, who they face at Dobsonville Stadium this afternoon.
Kick-off is set for 15h00.