Tinkler Voices Concern Over Athlone Stadium Pitch Condition

Tinkler Voices Concern Over Athlone Stadium Pitch Condition
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In the aftermath of Cape Town City’s goalless draw with Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League, Eric Tinkler, the manager of Cape Town City, voiced his dissatisfaction with the state of the pitch at Athlone Stadium. The match, which saw neither team able to secure a decisive advantage, was marked by what Tinkler describes as a subpar playing surface, which he believes significantly impacted the quality of play.

The encounter began with Kaizer Chiefs setting a brisk pace, highlighted by Wandile Duba’s missed early opportunity. Not long afterward, City responded, with Darwin Gonzalez nearly breaking the deadlock with a powerful strike that rattled the Chiefs’ goalpost, followed by several missed opportunities.

Despite periods where Cape Town City appeared to be in control, Tinkler did not mince words about the pitch’s condition playing a role in the game’s lack of fluidity.

“But the truth be told, the pitch didn’t help. I said to the groundsman and it’s not the way that I do these things but I said to the groundsman on Wednesday, this pitch was almost the length you saw it today and I said to him ‘The grass needs cutting’, then he said ‘No, it’s your decision, what length do you want?’ then I told him ‘It must be 22, that’s normal for a football field and it must be watered,'” Tinkler said, per SABC Sport.

Tinkler’s critique extended beyond the grass length and watering, pointing to how these conditions directly affected the game’s dynamics and possibly the outcome.

“Grass wasn’t cut, the pitch wasn’t watered, so the stadium worked completely against us. You know I look at certain chances that we had there, there was one where Jaden cuts in and if it’s, I think he’s got a greater chance of having a better shot, hitting the target but he gets under it because the grass is so thick, it flies into grandstands, you know. Small little details like that.

Moreover, Tinkler highlighted the broader challenges of making Athlone Stadium feel like a true home advantage, referencing similar issues at DHL Stadium and the balancing act between aesthetics and playability.

This discourse arrives amid a challenging period for Cape Town City, with the team struggling to find victory in its recent league fixtures, a streak that has now extended to five matches without a win. The draw with Chiefs leaves City in sixth place in the PSL, lagging behind the leaders by a significant margin and with dwindling chances to secure a top finish.

Weekly Round-Up: Title Race Heats Up in the Premier Soccer League

As the Premier Soccer League heads towards its climax, the battle for the Diski Challenge crown intensifies, with Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Orlando Pirates all vying for supremacy.

This weekend’s action saw mixed fortunes for the title contenders, setting the stage for a thrilling conclusion to the season.

Stellenbosch managed to end Sundowns’ impressive run, asserting themselves as serious contenders, while Orlando Pirates stumbled against Sekhukhune United, missing a crucial opportunity to close the gap on the leaders.

Kaizer Chiefs, on the other hand, fortified their title aspirations with a commanding victory over Chippa United, marking their position as a formidable force in the league.

As the competition narrows, the question remains: Can Chiefs continue their surge and challenge Sundowns for the title, or will Pirates recalibrate and re-enter the fray?

Here’s a table summarizing the scores from the mentioned matches in the Premier Soccer League and Diski Challenge:

Match Score
Cape Town City vs. Kaizer Chiefs 0-0
Stellenbosch vs. Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1
Sekhukhune United vs. Orlando Pirates 0-0
Chippa United vs. Kaizer Chiefs 0-4

What do you think?


Written by CapeGuy


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