The Cape Winelands is one of the province’s favourite holiday destinations, and at this time of the year, scores of people are making their way there to enjoy festivities.
However, Cape Town City FC defender Keanu Cupido has warned his teammates that Friday’s trip to the Danie Craven Stadium for the iKapa derby against Stellenbosch FC will be no joyride. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.
The 25-year-old Cupido, who has been a pillar of strength in City’s central defence, is a former Under-17 and Under-19 national cap. He arrived four years ago at City after transferring from French club AC Ajaccio.
Cupido has been keeping an eye on their youthful Stellenbosch neighbours, who have been making great strides in the past few months.
He knows City will be hard-pressed to win the derby in the DStv Premiership on Friday.
“It is never easy going to neighbours Stellenbosch,” said Cupido. “We know it’s going to be a physical game, a hard-running game.
“This will be one of our toughest games since we started the winning sequence of six in a row. Stellenbosch are in high spirits now because they are in the (Carling Knockout) Cup final.
“They have more confidence than us, but we are ready for the battle.”
City coach Eric Tinkler agreed with Cupido and remembered that the team often came away empty-handed after a derby clash against Stellenbosch.
“Our record against them is not that brilliant in the last couple of seasons, and we are looking to change that. We are coming off the back of good wins and good performances,” said Tinkler.
“Their tails are up because they are into the Carling final, so it should be an interesting game for the fans. Hopefully they will come in their numbers, and we can put in a good performance.
“It is never an easy game against Stellenbosch, but we go in with confidence and a belief that we can turn them over.”
Tinkler will be hoping Khanyisa Mayo, his in-form attacker, will be on song in the Winelands.
Mayo has scored three times in his last four matches for City. This has taken him to the top of the DStv Premiership scoring charts with seven goals, and he will be hoping to add to his tally in the iKapa derby.
This will be Mayo’s last chance to impress Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos as places for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations are up for grabs. Mayo’s previous call-ups have usually been in the case of emergencies.
Tinkler will notice that there will be a lot more swagger in the youthful Stellies line-up because the club has announced new contract deals for Devin Titus, Jayden Adams, Kyle Jurgens and Iqraam Rayners.
“It’s also important for us that the players show long-term commitment to continue growing and helping the team achieve the success that we desire, and equally important that you keep your young, quality and core players together,” said Stellies coach Steve Barker.
“The message is obviously that it is nice to be in a final, but that needs to be put on the back-burner.
“We have a massive opportunity on Friday evening to keep climbing up the table and keep racking up the points.
“We want to do well in the league and to be competing at the top of the table, so matches like this become very, very important for us.
“We aren’t thinking at all about the final. That’s out of the window for now, and the focus is on a big match against City on Friday.”