2016-03-30 06:00

TODAY there are two things that are making me not only excited, but also over the moon.

Firstly, let me congratulate the Pietermaritzburg and District Soccer Association (Padsa) for working around the clock to put together the annual Padsa Easter tournament.

This popular soccer festival will be played from tomorrow until Monday at Northdale Stadium and Protea Grounds in Khan Road.

I also thank the partners that came on board to support this event, and, speaking from experience, nowadays it is so impossible to stage any sporting event without sponsors, volunteers and partners.

I also wish to thank Padsa chairman Roland Naidoo, his team and veteran administrator, Cass Badat for fighting against local soccer political odds to make sure that sport is back in the northern areas.

Many years ago in the Easter tournament we had crowd-pullers from Woodlands like Ghostown Celtic, Eastwood’s Leicester City, Edendale’s Mighty Pa, Lions, Wolves, Rebels, Wolves, Kokstad Swallows, Swansea, Sobantu United and others.

These teams or the event developed or produced players that went all the way to professional ranks. The likes of Shane Morrison, Sandile Ndlovu, Rowan Dolphin, Sbonelo Dladla, Mabhuti Khenyeza, Arthur Bartman, Shaun Donnelly, Biggs Chetty, Darrell Gregory, Enver Wilwter, to count a few, were the proud product of the Easter tournament.

Finally, I hope and pray that the Northdale­ event will be also an eye-opener for our municipality in order to prove that soccer grounds are desperately needed around the city.

Once again, well done to Padsa for bringing the people’s event back home and please let’s have a safe, fair and honest tournament.

May the best teams win.

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