‘By the Sea’ cup to be bigger

2016-03-08 06:00
The Strandfontein AFC u.13 side will be hoping that homeground advantage will help them excel at the 13th annual “By the Sea” tournament. Back row from left are Mathew Roman, Lisakhanya Ngciso, Garth Adams, Taswel Brown, Conwin Johnsin and Liam Solomons. Middle row from left are Jordan Jacobs, Khaya Bresendale Fynn, Ryan Adams, Liam Brown and Caleb Kock. In front are Shakir Christian, Calvin Jacobs, Ethan Daames, MJ Oppelt, Zaid April and Lance Hendricks.  PHOTO: whani april

The Strandfontein AFC u.13 side will be hoping that homeground advantage will help them excel at the 13th annual “By the Sea” tournament. Back row from left are Mathew Roman, Lisakhanya Ngciso, Garth Adams, Taswel Brown, Conwin Johnsin and Liam Solomons. Middle row from left are Jordan Jacobs, Khaya Bresendale Fynn, Ryan Adams, Liam Brown and Caleb Kock. In front are Shakir Christian, Calvin Jacobs, Ethan Daames, MJ Oppelt, Zaid April and Lance Hendricks. PHOTO: whani april

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The scene is set for an exciting three-day soccer festival which will take place in Strandfontein next weekend.

Organisers hope the tournament will change the face of the sport for budding youth by identifying potential stars and developing talent across the Peninsula.

The Strandfontein sports complex will play host to the 13th annual “By the Sea” tournament for u.13 soccer players from 19 to 21 March.

The event has been able to attract a wide variety of clubs in the past to develop players by participating in the event and add to the carnival atmosphere which is normally associated with the tournament.

The official launch of the tournament will take place at the Strandfontein Civic Centre in Cruiser Road tomorrow at 19:00.

With major sponsors such as Coolag, the Strandfontein AFC has been able to not only host its annual tournament, but also improve on the quality for the young soccer players and their administrators.

With other sponsors like Umbro and Jive, the organisers believe that this year will be the best and most exciting tournament so far.

The tournament has a rich history of players from Strandfontein AFC who have gone on to the PSL, NFD and Motsepe League level. To name a few: Clint Fredericks (Ajax Motsepe team), Jody February (Ajax PSL goalkeeper) and Darren Smith (AmaZulu PSL team).

According to Mario Wood, tournament secretary, the vision of the festival is to create a forum which places on centre stage the skills, talent and development of soccer players, creating opportunities for children and foraging relationships on and off the field.

He adds he has been with the tournament for the last four years and has to acknowledge and express thanks to previous administration champions like Sharief Christians (junior chairperson), Gerard Kemp (club secretary and perennial tournament MC), Duane Maxwell (tournament security) and Hilary Williams (shop executive) for their unselfish support and dedication.

“These people are a major part of the reasons why this tournament is so attractive and successful, ” says Wood.

Thirty-two teams will compete in the tournament, divided into eight groups of four teams each.

The previous winners were Fish Hoek (2013), Ajax Cape Town (2014) and Old Mutual last year.

The tournament is well-represented by various local teams, like Fish Hoek, Hellenic, Ajax Cape Town, Old Mutual, Meadowridge, Rygersdal and Wynberg St John of Cape Town Tygerberg, Fire-fighters of Khayelitsha, Zimasa Stars of Philippi, Stellenbosch University FC and Ulana Soccer Academy of Mandalay.

A host of excellent teams from Mitchell’s Plain, such as Beacon Spurs, Red Rovers, MPCE Football, Bayhill United, Fulham Sport, Standards United, Rockafellas, Bayview, Ikapa Sporting, Liverpool Portland and Leeds Lentegeur, will take part.

Making their appearances for the first time in the tournament will be All Stars, FN Rangers, Devonshire Rovers, Rebels, LifeZone Soccer International (LSL) and Origan Spurs.

Teams like Ulana Soccer Academy (whose chairperson is Simphiwe Ulana) concentrate on talented youngsters in the community, helping them with their schooling and a feeding scheme on training days and Saturdays.

Ulana, principal of the local school, is proudly ploughing back into the community that he came from, namely the Mandalay area, with boys coming from as far and wide as Khayelitsha and Philippi to be part of his vision in trying to build a better tomorrow by scouting future leaders through their soccer talents.

“We are proud and blessed to have Ulana Soccer Academy playing in this year’s version of the tournament by the sea,” says Keith Brink, tournament director.


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