Three Port Elizabeth signings hope to attract big crowds at home games
Chippa United’s three new Port Elizabeth signings have promised to make the Bay proud of them and their team in the Premier Soccer League this season.
Siphesihle Stuurman, of Veeplaas, Bulumko Ceki, of Zwide, and Arcadia-born Sherwin Bailey said they never thought that one day they would be playing for a PSL team based in their home town.
They thought moving to Johannesburg or Cape Town was the ideal step towards achieving their dreams of becoming professional soccer players.
Stuurman is no stranger at the Port Elizabeth-based team as he was part of the Chilli Boys squad that helped the team gain promotion to the PSL.
When the club moved to PE in 2014 he was loaned to National First Division side Cape Town All Stars.
The next season he joined Vasco Da Gama after his contract with Chippa expired.
On his return, the 23-year-old former Morning Stars player said this time he would fight hard to get into the starting 11.
“I have seen my mistakes on the field of play and I will put in more effort, so that I can be part of the first 11 and the travelling team,” he said.
“I won’t give up easily like I did last time.
“It’s a wonderful thing to play for a PSL team that is based at home. This will give me a chance to show how talented PE players are.”
Ceki and Bailey were promoted from the Multichoice Diski team squad and joined the Chilli Boys first team this season.
Ceki, 20, believes it was his hard work and good skills that caught the eye of coach Dan Malesela.
The former Leeds United and Callies player hopes that every Chippa home match will be sold out as there are local faces in the team this season.
“Yes, I think now that there are local players in the team that people can identify with, it will bring people to the stadium,” he said.
“I am very excited to have signed my first professional contract with Chippa United that is based here in my home town.
“There will be a lot of pressure . . . in order to get a start in the team.”
The midfielder said his family had been supportive and were happy about his move.
Bailey said he was blessed to be part of a PSL team and still be with his family. The 23-year-old midfielder has played in the Nafa structures but moved to Cape Town five years ago and joined ASD Cape Town. He returned to PE last year and joined the Chippa development side.
Bailey said his hard work had definitely paid off.
“I have been praying for this moment. I just have to say thank you to God,” he said. “I have been through a lot in football. I have been to Belgium and the club there offered me a verbal [promise], saying they wanted to sign me for a year.
“But it didn’t come through. They changed their minds and said I am too small and too short. “Now coach Dan has given me a chance. “He does not look at the size, he looks at the football ability and your heart.”