Cape Town – Can I get a show of hands? Who of you unfortunate few reading this column have ever been entrusted to bring your own sports jersey to the event in which you were supposed to participate?
I thought so, not a lot. You can put down your hands now.
I know I was never given my Klein Nederburg Senior Secondary School rugby jersey to take home or to bring to the field because I was a bit, well, absent-minded, or, as my grandmother would say, ‘verstrooid’.
I had to forget something. It’s part of my nature. Once I went out to bat without a protective box – something most cricketers, never mind schoolboy players, tend to take out of their kit-bags first.
But that’s why we had teachers and coaches who made sure all our kit arrived at the ground and ready for battle. Rarely did they get to the field with not enough kit, or find that the star player’s lucky jersey wasn’t there.
Teams playing in South Africa’s top football league, the PSL, have kit managers who look after this sort of thing, with their primary job being to make sure that everybody’s kit is accounted for.
On Tuesday night, though, the Chippa United kit manager managed to misplace the kit of one of the key players for their trip to Free State Stars.
Stanton Lewis was supposed to make his much-anticipated debut for the Cape side since joining the club in January, but couldn’t even get on to the bench. Chippa ended up going down 3-0.
You have to feel for new coach Wilfred Mugeyi in such a situation, because he would have desperately wanted to start his tenure off on a winning note.
But the disruption of not having his key striker start the match probably blew the coach’s whole preparation out of the water.
This kind of sums up Chippa’s first season in the PSL, and I’m afraid if these sorts of shenanigans continue, then they might go back to the National First Division at the end of the season.
Since the start of the campaign, four coaches have been fired by owner Chippa Mpengesi, who has earned the moniker “Chippa Abramovich”.
But maybe the boss has to look at some of the people inside his camp, such as the person who forgot Lewis’s jersey, and give them the chop.
Lots of people have said the people surrounding Mpengesi are not giving him the right advice, and he needs more football expertise around him.
It’s going to be a massive battle for the Cape side to avoid the relegation playoffs this season. And making such silly mistakes is not going to help the cause at all.
Or maybe, to make things easier, just give Stanton his jersey before Sunday’s match at Philippi Stadium. I’m sure he will remember to bring it to the stadium.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@Larry_Cohen (the former Chippa United midfielder adds a sarcastic touch to his former team’s midweek defeat): What a f*cking joke! #canisaythatnow?
@piersmorgan (The Arsenal nutter on following South Africa closely): Judging by that SA police press conference, Oscar Pistorius is in big trouble. They clearly don’t believe this was mistaken identity.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@Mosco_Lebusa: New Ajax Cape Town star left back Musa Lebusa was on the scoresheet against Moroka Swallows on Wednesday night. Follow the youngster’s progress.