Local earns highest goal scorer award

2017-03-15 06:03

NOWADAYS soccer is treated as a second citizen in the city, but it is encouraging to note that the South African Indoor Football Association (Saifa), known as Futsal, is still able to hoist the sports flag aloft.

Last weekend Saifa held its annual awards ceremony at Durban’s ICC and a local player and a former Padsa Easter Tournament product, Curtis Dos Santos, took the highest goal scorer award, breaking a record.

Dos Santos confirmed his recent achievement.

“I won top goal scorer award in the National Futsal League under Saifa, surpassing the previous record by scoring 30 league goals and five in cup games.”

The 28-year-old started his soccer career early with Barcelona under development coaches such as Renald Wood, Ian De Jagger and Leonard Roots (Eastwood).

At Barcelona (Eastwood team) he won four league titles in a row and three league cups.

He also won three Padsa’s Easter tournaments with U11, U13 and U17 junior sides.

Dos Santos says their achievement with Eastwood was purely outstanding team spirit and deep brotherhood.

“The team was coached by the local uncles and the majority of players were long-time friends, neighbours, schoolmates and we took ourselves as brothers - we played together from the age of six.”

His talent was quickly noticed by many national junior coaches and he went to South African Football Association’s School of Excellence in Johannesburg from the age of 14 with players such as Steven “Scara” Tony, Kyle Oglee and Allain Mixon.

He signed his first professional contract with the PSL side Lamontville Golden Arrows in 2008 where he was coached by the former local coach and teacher Manqoba Mngqithi.

“I spent two seasons there,” he said.

Dos Santos then moved to an NFD team, Blackburn Rovers (East London), and stayed for two seasons before moving to Sivutsa Stars.

At Durban’s Arrows he feels he was just “unlucky” not to last for a long time there because he was young and Mngqithi (head coach) left.

“I was 18 years old and only managed 13 appearances in this PSL side. It was also very difficult to break into the star-studded outfit at that time.

“Remember Arrows had the likes of Papi Zothwane [Maritzburg City and Mamelodi Sundowns], Philani Shange and Thokozani Mshengu [Moja United, Royal Tigers and Maritzburg City]. The competition was just tough for any new player.”

After suffering two ankle injuries he decided to call it quits and is currently employed at Hulamin.

“To come back home is a blessing because it provides me with quality time with my family as I left home when I was very young and I have been all over the country.”

Dos Santos says although Maritzburg Hotspurs were runners-up in Saifa’s National Futsal League, they enjoy a lot of local support and its technical bench is well balanced.

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