Bayview FC has eyes on the cups

2018-06-14 06:02
Expect an action-packed weekend of soccer as 36 teams attempt to win the cup next weekend. Pictured is a match from the last competition. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Expect an action-packed weekend of soccer as 36 teams attempt to win the cup next weekend. Pictured is a match from the last competition. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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After almost closing its doors, a local club has come back kicking and scoring their way to victory­.

Mitchell’s Plain’s Bayview FC have now become one of the most successful soccer clubs attached to the Local Football Association, and are well on their way to giving more young and aspiring football stars an opportunity to thrive.

This is thanks to the revival of a Youth Cup that sees 36 clubs vie for four trophies and the attention of local soccer scouts.

Mark Rodrigues, club chairperson, joined the club in 2010 and has been at the helm since 2013.

“The club was started in 2005 with only one junior team made up of players from Bayview. They started the club and trained in Bayview and used to practise on a small sand patch in the area. I joined the club as a concerned resident of the area. In the first year I was just with the juniors and in 2011 I became the junior chairman of the club. I became the club chairperson in 2013 and at that point there were only 50 junior players and 30 senior players with executive members included,” he says.

The club went through a rough patch in 2014, almost closing its doors. That was when Rodrigues enlisted the help of Eben and Petra Loff who at the time were on the Collville FC executive.

“The club was going under and Mark approached me and a few other clubs with his group of players because there were not enough to form a team. With the help of others, he could lift the club up again to the Bayview that it is today, stronger than ever,” says Eben, now the vice-chairperson of Bayview FC.

And it was the very competition they are now hosting that played a big part in the revival of the club.

“We saw all the clubs having single tournaments where they compete against themselves and we thought why not do a tournament with clubs who are struggling and work together and have a tournament that benefits everyone,” says Eben.

In 2015 the tournament, called the u.16 Tri-club Tournament, was hosted by Bayview FC, Collville and Beacon Spurs.

The tournament was not held in 2016 and was revived in 2017 as the Bayview u.16 Youth Cup.

“In 2016 we sat down to figure out what we wanted to do in 2017. We felt that soccer was evolving. Many international players are between the ages of 16 and 18 and we felt there was a gap in the market to start this tournament with the idea that the younger players can be seen by professional clubs and scouts,” says Rodrigues.

“Being seen at and exposed to professional soccer at a younger age will help South African soccer.”

Since then, they have grown the club to 230 members with 152 junior players ranging from u.6 to u.18 and 60 playing seniors, including an SAB franchise and an over-40 team participating in all major tournaments across the Western Cape. This includes the Metropolitan Premier Cup, previously known as the Bayhill Tourmanent.

A tournament they hope to model this one after.

“We want the u.16 cup to become what the Bayhill Cup is, a feeder to other clubs like Cape Town City FC and others, where scouts come to find their players at a younger age. At the moment, most of the players in the Bayhill tournament are 19 and playing in premier leagues whereas here are u.16 players who can be developed from a younger age,” says Eben.

And the interest in the tournament keeps growing with more teams included this year.

The tournament slogan is “Together we can make a difference in the lives of our Youth” and is a motto they have used in all the decision of the tournament.

Rodrigues says sharing their success and having their players pay it forward adds to their way forward. “We have promoted the players adopt a child and they have been doing that. We want to create a family in the club,” says Rodrigues. “This has happened with more parents supporting their children now.”

“We must also acknowledge that Gillian Kensley, one of the over 40’s adopted an entire team and sponsored their kit,” says Eben. The tournament will take place at the Strandfontein Sports Field on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June with kick-off at 09:00.

Here, 36 teams will vie for four cups and monetary prizes. People’s Post is the official print media partner. Other sponsors include Gourmet Retail Solutions, Jive, The City of Cape Town, The 4th Moment, Petra’s Catering Services.

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