JOHANNESBURG – Boland Park and the atmosphere there when the Paarl Rocks play has so far been the highlight for the Mzansi Super League - but on Friday night, this most fan friendly of venues gave a sense of the kind of ‘gees.’ it can create.
It’s fair to say that residents in Gauteng haven’t taken to the MSL the way folk in Paarl have. Even in the Jozi Stars victorious run to the title last season, the Wanderers often had more empty seats than spectators, while the Spartans as a team never captured the imagination of a fiercely parochial city.
That seemed to change on Friday night. And to be fair to the Spartans’ brainstrust, in this season’s draft they employed a deliberate ploy to try and pick as many ‘local’ players as possible to give the team more of a Tshwane feel as it were.
Many of the players have shared dressing rooms since they were kids so building a team spirit hasn’t been difficult. Their two previous home games have been rained out unfortunately, but last week’s come from nowhere win against the Stars really does appear to have galvanised the squad.
And so with that win in the bank, and a visit by the competition’s in-form team, a good crowd of 5598 turned up last night and while there wasn’t a mountain of runs scored, nor was there a close finish, there was sufficient entertainment from the home team, to get spectators properly on their side.