THE delay in the kickoff to the Vodacom League might have caused teams to become idle, but Nelson Mandela Bay club officials say it is all systems go for the players this weekend.
The Eastern Cape Vodacom League will finally kick off tomorrow after weeks of uncertainty about the start of a new season.
The delay was caused by a promotion issue involving only a few provinces. This has not been resolved, but the Eastern Cape league games were given the go-ahead since the clubs are not involved in the dispute.
Port Elizabeth outfit Bay Stars general manager Mark Tommy confirmed they had received correspondence of the latest draft of fixtures for the weekend.
He said coach Mark Harrison's troops were ready to take on Mthatha Bucks at the Rotary Stadium in Mthatha tomorrow (3pm).
"We have all been worried about the whole matter, but we are now happy the league is finally ready to start," Tommy said.
All the Vodacom League club owners in the province had applied a collective approach in putting pressure on competition director Jeff Monnakgotla to get the Eastern Cape league matches under way.
Harrison said the game against Bucks would be his first as head coach of the Stars.
"I'm excited that the players will be rolling a competitive football again because the delay affected them as they were looking forward to the new season," Harrison said.
The team had prepared for the league programme through a series of friendly matches.
"We have assembled a strong squad which will be equal to the task on Saturday," Harrison said.
Meanwhile, Highbury's fixture and venue for this weekend has still to be confirmed. They are due to play tomorrow at 3pm. Coach Garth Dickinson said yesterday they had not received any communication from the Safa or Vodacom League head offices.
"We heard that the league starts this weekend, but my boss has not received any correspondence," Dickinson said.