Social impact was the overall winner during the Hollywoodbets Mayambela Community Cup this past long weekend, say the tournaments organisers.
Clashes between 32 under-21 teams came to an end on Monday, following four days of entertaining display of character, discipline and footballing talent.
Teams came from as far as Helderberg, Strand, Nyanga, Langa, Kraaifontein, Paarl and Khayelitsha to fought for top honours, pride and R30 000, in front of a full house of spectators, parents and scouts.
Local organising committee member and journalist, Siyavuya Khaya said the tournament was a great social and footballing success.
“The tournament gives a lot of young and potential players an opportunity to be signed by big teams. Scouts from Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns were there.
“And it was not just about football but a social impact because we gave out grocery and food parcels to kids and families on the last day. To someone else it may seem small but to the people receiving it, it makes a huge difference. This is all about uplifting the township and these ages of 18, 19, 20, 21 are very critical ages where you find the boys turning into men. This tournament happened during this long weekend for the boys because anything could have happened to them. So we really appreciate what the Mayambela brothers are doing for the townships,” he said.
Khaya said a group of the players chosen to represent the best 11 will train in a professional set-up and play against teams such as Cape Town City and other professional teams across the province.
In essence, as a part of the township scene’s football development, Khaya said the coaches are also chosen to partner with professional coaches and managers to open up their mindset to a new element of the game.
“This tournament was absolutely brilliant,” said Khaya.
Khayelitsha Local Football Association’s winners, Goal Hunters lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners, Myrmidon Football Club from Strand. They walked away with the bronze medals.
Bazuka United were 2-1 winners against Everton, from Nyanga, in the second semi-final.
Myrmidon then beat Bazuka United 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
The goalkeeper of the tournament, coach of the tournament and the player of the tournament all came from Myrmidon following a display of absolute talent on and off the field.
Football legend and tournament co-host, Mark Mayambela said the player of the under-21 tournament is a 16-year-old, which shows the talent of the players and the hunger of each player in the event.
Mayambela said the event was more than football, but a display of social impact in the community.
“The tournament went well, people came through in numbers. We had scouts from Kaizer Chiefs and Terror Maliwa from Mamelodi Sundowns. They spoke highly of the talent we had. I am just pushing these boys and grateful to everyone for the support and sponsorships. The young and old were also happy. For the whole weekend we didn’t get any complaints or fights, even young kids came in numbers. I believe we saved a lot of lives by keeping people safe through football. Also thanks to the SAPS, Safa, the Khayelitsha LFA and the Western Cape Government for endorsing us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayambela’s Cape Town City under-16 side were also crowned the champions of the Sir Stanley Matthews International tournament jointly hosted by Hout Bay United Football Community and Stoke City that also took part this past weekend. They beat Ubuntu 3-2 on penalties, following a 2-2 draw at full-time.
Mayambela said they had about a month to assemble a team and they played well throughout the under-16 tournament.
“What is important is to always try and be the best wherever you are and try by all means to work hard and keep a positive attitude. Believe in your talent, it doesn’t matter where you come from. Townships also produce great players. It does not matter where you come from, you must believe in yourself, as the Mayambela Foundation we will do whatever we can to assist you. We will always try and support where we can do so,” said Mayambela.