Pillars FA, Dubai 2016 Supercup Champions

2016-04-13 06:00
Pillars Football Academy team flew the South African flag high when they were named the Dubai 2016 Supercup Champions. PHOTO: supplied

Pillars Football Academy team flew the South African flag high when they were named the Dubai 2016 Supercup Champions. PHOTO: supplied

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PILLARS Football Academy made Pietermaritzburg and South Africa proud when they emerged victorious at the Dubai 2016 Supercup held recently in Dubai.

The team of 20 players from all backgrounds and various schools in the city jetted off to Dubai to participate in the international tournament which included teams from Wales, Australia, America, Saudi Arabia, Quatar, Nigeria, UAE and Mumbai.

“The fantastic thing about this team was that we had boys from all walks of life, well off, middle-class, lower income and from schools including Michaelhouse, Hilton, Maritzburg College, Sobantu High, Haythorne and Eastwood to name a few.

“To see these boys join as one to achieve their objective without looking at each other’s background was encouraging to watch.

“To see them join and sing the anthem with such passion made me realise that there is still hope for our football going forward,” said Pillars coach, Kurt Mc Kenzie.

He added that the overall performance was exceptional and going out of the country to compete is a huge feat and that the immaculate facilities made the tournament a great one.

“We don’t play on grass that looks like carpet,” he joked.

Mc Kenzie said that initially the team had to get used to the physical side of things as the Europeans are huge boys and physically strong, but the team stuck to the game plan and continued to play the South African style of play “carpet football with some diski flavour”.

Throughout, the tournament had goals coming from 12 players, in total the team scored 25 goals and conceded only four.

“The finals were very tight against formidable opponents in UAE Precor who were second in their group. The game started with furious pace. After the brilliance of the team by the second half they were leading two nil.

“The boys had now settled and kept taking the game to the opponent. Soon after a substitution we found ourselves at 3-0.

“Our captain then scored the fourth and final goal, which all but sealed the game for Pillars Academy,” said Mc Kenzie.

He said that the tournament allowed team players and management to network globally and the response from the other academies concerning our players was fantastic.

By winning the tournament, Pillars FA have now got an invitation to the Welsh Supercup in August, but their participation will depend on their financial­ situation as competing internationally is very costly.

“Our aim to compete in the hope of giving our boys the exposure they deserve - we will get sponsorships from the public.

“However regardless of whether we compete or not we will continue to develop our players to international level,” he said.

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