Stellenbosch Academy of Sport SAS and Stellenbosch University (SU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 11 October that will see the two entities collaborate till 2029.
The MOU endeavours to foster a better relationship between SAS and SU to develop quality footballers for Stellenbosch and the greater Winelands community while forging a holistic pathway for the players, support staff and administrators.
The partnership will see Stellenbosch Football Club use the University’s Lentelus Football Complex for the purposes of training for three seasons (2022/2023) and the Danie Craven Stadium for Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches for nine seasons (2028/2029), all effective from the commencement of the 2021-’22 season.
CEO of SAS and SFC Rob Benadie said the club’s strategic plan was fast-tracked with immediate elevation to the PSL in 2019. “Fortunately, we are based in a town with a rich sport heritage and have the university and other key stakeholders partnering with us to assist our continued growth. It is incredible to see how excited the town is about the SFC brand and the prospect of building a home fortress at the iconic Danie Craven Stadium.
“We hope to build on the incredible history that Maties Rugby has created and continues to generate at this venue. The club sincerely thanks Messrs Johann Rupert and Jannie Durand of Remgro and Professor Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer, and his executives at the university in making this dream a reality. I am confident this partnership is going to be a very exciting and successful journey that will benefit much more than football.”
Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Sport has the unique ability to bring people together and create social cohesion, and that is precisely what the MOU between Stellenbosch University and the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport sets out to do. Football is the biggest global sport, so creating a platform in Stellenbosch to create career opportunities for talented young players, which will have a positive impact on the university community, our town and the Western Cape.”
Lee Langeveldt, number one goalkeeper for SFC and local soccer hero, said he is grateful for the partnership. “When I grew up I had to go away to follow my dream of playing professional football. This partnership signed today opens doors for many local players and gives them access to a brighter future. This is an important step in the direction of uplifting local sport and creating gateways for local players.”