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.
More about the story Here