Athlone Stadium groundsman worked against us – Eric Tinkler

Athlone Stadium groundsman worked against us – Eric Tinkler

Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler says his instructions to the Athlone Stadium groundsman ahead of their DStv Premiership clash against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday were ignored, putting them at a disadvantage.

The Citizens could not use the DHL Stadium because of a rugby match and had to schedule their fixture with Amakhosi at their alternative venue.

Tinkler already had reservations coming into the game which ended goalless, and he believes the poor pitch didn’t help.

"But the truth be told, the pitch didn't help. I said to the groundsman and it's not the way that I do these things but I said to the groundsman on Wednesday, this pitch was almost the length you saw it today and I said to him 'The grass needs cutting', then he said 'No, it's your decision, what length do you want?' then I told him It must be 22, that's normal for a football field and it must be watered," Tinkler said.

The City coach elaborated further on why he needed the grass trimmed to his liking.

READ: We were shy on the ball - Jose Riveiro's response to first loss in 2024

"Grass wasn't cut, the pitch wasn't watered, so the stadium worked completely against us. You know I look at certain chances that we had there, there was one where Jaden cuts in and if it's, I think he's got a greater chance of having a better shot, hitting the target but he gets under it because the grass is so thick, it flies into grandstands, you know. Small little details like that," Tinkler added.

Tinkler adds that City will take up the issue with those in charge of the day to day running of the Athlone Stadium.

"But it's supposed to be our home venue, so make it our home venue, give us the advantage, we didn't have that advantage in my opinion today [Saturday] on this pitch but that's something that us as a club need to deal with, especially with stadium management.

“Both here and DHL Stadium, the same issues and I understand 'Ow you want the pitch to look nice and oh we've got three games coming up, we cut it short, ow it's gonna damage the field because we've still got Cape Town Spurs and we've got the Bayhill Tournament' blah blah blah but yeah, I want the pitch to be suitable for us and it wasn't."