Friday, January 10, 2014
MTUBA SPURS SHINE AT THE MSHOLOZI CUP
Defending champions Mtuba Spurs won the The 5th annual Msholozi Soccer Tournament in Eshowe in December. They beat Danone FC 3-0 in the final.
According to the team’s coach, Sibusiso Vilakazi, their goal was to defend the title, and they knew that the other teams would be looking to beat them to prove a point
“The boys were physically and mentally prepared to capitalise on the weaknesses of our opponents,” Vilakazi said. “We trained for 2 months in preparation for this tournament; even though the boys are used to playing the full 90 minutes of a match, they didn’t take this tournament lightly just because each game lasted for 25 minutes.”
Vilakazi said it was an honour for the team to play knowing that they were being watched by President Jacob Zuma, SAFA president Danny Jordaan and Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe.
Mtuba’s opponents in the final, Danone FC, provided tough opposition for them. “We didn’t win easily. Credit must go to our defence, they didn’t allow the opposition to score any goals.”
Their star in the final was Miso Xaba, who scored 2 of their goals.
Vilakazi is excited about the fact that Sundowns development scout, Floyd Mokgale, showed an interest in 2 of his players. “We talked briefly about the players and I am sure that he will be in contact with me soon,” he said.
“It was an honour for us to participate in this tournament, our president should continue exposing young talent to the world. Tournaments like these give hope to aspiring soccer players and I salute the president.
Vilakazi was impressed with the standard of play at the tournament.
“The boys play like they are playing for professional teams,” he said. “They are good technically and tactically. One would never say that they are under-15 players. There was a lot of talent there, and all the spectators were impressed with the level of soccer that they saw there. These boys can go very far if they are disciplined and determined to make it
“I would like to see many of them playing for professional clubs one day. Most of our PSL players come from KZN and I’m sure these youngsters will continue to fly the KZN flag because they do have what it takes.”
Mamelodi Sundowns’ Jan Malambo attended the final day of the tournament, along with Isaac Shai and Godfrey Sapula (former Mamelodi Sundowns Players). He said they were all impressed with the talent that they saw and he believes many of the boys could have a successful future in soccer. “It’s always good to see talent from an early age, because you get to see that these kids are determined and really want to play soccer. It’s uplifting to see aspiring players who don’t have enough resources, taking soccer seriously. They are not hindered by their circumstances of limited sporting facilities and equipment, instead they use what they have to better establish themselves. I know that the Sundowns scouts did find some talented youngsters they would like to join our development structures, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done first before we can announce the names.”
President Zuma said he is looking forward to expanding the Msholozi Tournament into other sporting codes, not only focusing on soccer. The focus is to keep the youth of our country active and to expose their talents. He thanked everyone that came to watch the tournament and asked that they should continue to support it.