Team enters new league

2017-06-21 06:02
The Tswelopele soccer team at the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association games are from the left, front: Jerome Bott, Stefaans Jacobs, Lebogang Mocumi, Enrique Martin and Duwayne van Dyk; back: Boitumelo Mabote (assistent coach), Johannes Diphoko, Bradley Wilson, Tshepo Mahapa, Zinedean Snaar, Piet Diphoko, Danton Mogorosi and Enrich van Wyk (head coach). Photos: Supplied

The Tswelopele soccer team at the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association games are from the left, front: Jerome Bott, Stefaans Jacobs, Lebogang Mocumi, Enrique Martin and Duwayne van Dyk; back: Boitumelo Mabote (assistent coach), Johannes Diphoko, Bradley Wilson, Tshepo Mahapa, Zinedean Snaar, Piet Diphoko, Danton Mogorosi and Enrich van Wyk (head coach). Photos: Supplied

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It is all systems go for the Tswelopele soccer team, as these players are about to enter a new seasonal league, the SAB Regional League, at full swing after qualifying in the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association games at the Harts­water Stadium.

The team sees this opportunity as a gateway to the ABC Motsepe League and the players are dedicating all their hard work and efforts to their head coach, Enrich “Skapie” van Wyk.

They sing the praises of Skapie for his dedication to the team that was originally his brainchild.

Only in their second season in the Local Football Association tournament, Tswelopele has become the toast of the tournament. The team has shown that hard work and dedication does indeed pay off at the end of the day.

The team also won the Easter tournament earlier this year.

The Tswelopele soccer team consists of 20 former prison inmates and at least nine u.19 players from the broader community.

After being knocked out in the district play-offs last season in Warrenton, they were determined to not leave any stone unturned this time.

“But last season was only our first time in the race and we turned it into a good lesson,” says the assistant coach, Boitumelo Mabote.

“Hard training and the incorporation of local coaches Thabo Namisa and George Morekisi for more inputs followed in preparation for the next season.

“We worked on our own analysis and shortcomings to take us through this season.”

According to Mabote, they were in no way discouraged by the two losses and one draw during the first Stream A and Stream B at the beginning of the league.

“Those were just among the experiences that we beefed up towards our expected wins.”

The team’s head coach has at least two decades of professional soccer experience.

Mabote himself as the assistant coach comes with similar experience in soccer. They embrace the challenging experience of presenting soccer as a rehabilitation method for the inmates.

Both coaches form part of the correctional officers team after participating in soccer from a tender age.

“The package of being their coach includes the responsibility of grooming them, especially the inmates, physically and mentally when they come with their different challenges on a daily basis. Now we are more than ready for the start of the SAB league season and are not even looking at our opponents twice.

“We are going places. We see a bright future and prepare well, as we prepare differently for each game.”

Mabote pledges his and his team’s support towards their head coach due to his evident passion and dedication towards the team.

“We admire the fact that even his family has been part of the team through dedication.”

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