Baroka Village

Baroka Village

A lack of proper facilities has pushed Baroka FC chairman Khurishi Mphahlele to embark on a massive R144-million project to build a training facility for the club in Lebowakgomo, about 50km outside Polokwane.

Despite fighting relegation in the Absa Premiership, rookies Baroka have acquired land and begun the process of building a “village” to emulate Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town.

Baroka currently train in Ga-Mphahlele and the club boss says their facilities there are not up to standard.

Even during their memorable Nedbank Cup campaign in 2011 as a third tier club, Baroka trained at the same place. Mphahlele told Sowetan yesterday that “we want to have a place we can call home.

“We are building a village. We don’t know when we are going to finish but we have started the process. We have a quotation of R144-million. We are talking to banks and it’s promising,” said Mphahlele.

“We will have three grounds and change rooms. That’s our first phase. The second phase is to have a residential area for the boys. Thirdly, we will have a gym and a swimming pool. We will also have a restaurant and offices for staff. It will have everything the players need to be comfortable. We also plan to have a filling station.”

Amakhosi set the trend in the early 90s when they founded the Chiefs Village in Naturena, south of Joburg. The facility boasts five training grounds, a high-performance centre, a club shop and a canteen. They also have accommodation for development players. The current value of the village, which could have a hotel in future, is estimated to be worth R60-million.

Ajax Cape Town have Ikamva (isiXhosa for future) that has a full size astro turf pitch and three grass fields, a boardroom and restaurant at their Parow complex in Western Cape.

The home of African champions Sundowns in Chloorkop has two training grounds and a canteen. It is currently undergoing renovations that will add new changing rooms, a swimming pool, a sauna and jacuzzi.

Platinum Stars have Bafokeng Sports Complex in Rustenburg, which they share with local athletics and basketball clubs.

This was an interview with Sowetan.

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