Vasco da Gama will base themselves and play matches out of Stellenbosch in the new 2016-17 National First Division season.
The new NFD campaign will see Vasco move away from Parow Park in Cape Town and to function out of the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), which has provided an excellent permanent base for both the SA Sevens rugby team, the Blitzboks, and the Western Province Rugby Union.
With the world of football moving forward in the realm of science and technology, Vasco are staying on the upward curve as they relocate to the Cape Winelands region, and the town of Stellenbosch in particular, who have a proven track record in regard to sporting excellence and success – from school to professional level and across a wide range of sporting codes.
‘We want re-position the club for greatness this season, and we want to embrace the Stellenbosch and Cape Winelands area, and we want to be present in this community. There is so much footballing talent in the region that we want to help develop and grow, I feel this is the right step for us and I believe in the facilities and people here that can help take us forward. We will push for promotion this season, and w ant to take this community with us,’ says Edries Burton, Vasco da Gama’s Chief Operating Officer.
Match days will see home games in Stellenbosch, with established players like Stellenbosch’s Alcardo Van Graan and up and coming young local players like Luke le Roux, who has already been to train with PEC Zwolle in Holland twice, poised to draw interest from the community. Le Roux was born and raised in Stellenbosch and Vasco will promote the teenage prodigy to the first team in a bid to build with players known to the region.
‘What makes the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) a suitable base is that they aim to provide the environment in which to develop and train, in order to attain that ‘excellence of performance.’
The Academy offers an all-encompassing world-class facility. Services at the facility include indoor and outdoor training fields, a state-of-the-art gym, access to leading sports scientists, doctors, coaches, physiotherapists and biokineticists, cutting-edge conference facilities, comfortable athlete accommodation and performance-nutrition catering.
‘SAS will provide integrated specialist and support services to the team that we believe will assist in taking the club to the next level of professionalism. We strive to make a difference through sport and have decided to be part of establishing a professional football team in Stellenbosch because we believe in the talent that is in this region and want to provide an inspiring pathway for them.’ says CEO of SAS, Rob Benadie.