4 November 2008


WOODBURN Rugby Stadium’s pitch is expected to be in good condition for Maritzburg United’s game against Lamontville Golden Arrows tomorrow — the first PSL match of the season in Pietermaritzburg since United’s return to the top-flight.

After United’s first game at Woodburn, against AmaZulu on October 4, was moved to Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale because the pitch at was not up to scratch, extensive work has been done to the surface.

United will play their home games at Woodburn this season while renovations are being completed to Harry Gwala Stadium, where a main stand; open stand roof and stands at either side of the pitch are being built for the ground — earmarked as a World Cup training venue.

United chairman Farouk Kadodia said that 90 cubic tons of Umgeni soil have been applied to Woodburn’s pitch, starting six weeks ago, and the the surface is in very good condition.

“With the help of the city council we have brought in experts to apply the Umgeni soil to the pitch to ensure its softness and to smooth out the bumps.

“Our players have said that the pitch is even softer than the one they used at Harry Gwala,” Kadodia said.

“We have done this both for the benefit of our own team and so that we don’t have complaints from visiting sides. If we had not, we might have had to move our home games to Hammarsdale or Durban for the season, and that would have been unacceptable.”

Piet Herbst, vice-president of the midlands rugby sub-union, said the ground will be rented to United, which is a good opportunity for the union to earn some revenue that can be ploughed back into the stadium.

“We also knew that there is not another stadium in Pietermaritzburg suitable for United’s use and it will benefit the soccer community … ”

United could be in for a tough first game in PMB. Arrows are the talk of the PSL at present with their dynamic attacking football under coach Manqoba Mngqithi, and the only team in the league still unbeaten.

* Article courtesy of Marc Strydom and the Witness