“Wow, this is fantastic,” remarked Mzoxolo Kafani after lifting the San Miguel and Kaizer Chiefs soccer tournament trophy. His side Venco beat San Parks after an exciting final played at the Sundays River Primary school just outside Addo. On top of the win, Kafani was selected as the Player of the Tournament.
Amakhosi joined forces this week with the Argentinean company San Miguel for a week-long soccer community project in Addo Valley, which is about an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth.
The aim of the project is for the club to impart knowledge and skills to the people of the area through soccer clinics, which started on Monday, 4 March, and finished with the eight-team soccer tournament on Friday. All the sides represented a company in the Addo Valley.
San Miguel is a global citrus farming company.
The clinics were conducted by the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy team of coaches made up of Sundra Govinder, Arthur Zwane and Jamie Schultz.
The Amakhosi trio ran a coaching workshop for locally based coaches. “I learnt a lot,” admits Mncedi Lali, who coaches the locally based SAB League side, United Brothers. “We had some mind-opening sessions, which will help me going forward.”
Another participant was Simphiwe Kleinbooi, who recently took charge of SAB league’s Royal Stars FC. “It not only reminded me of things I had forgotten, I got taught not just to plan training sessions day-by-day, but rather to plan for a full week, leading up to the next game.”
Friday’s tournament was an enthralling affair with a lot of goals and some great soccer. And, despite the rain, there were numerous spectators in attendance, which resulted in a vibrant atmosphere at the grounds.
Venco and San Parks reached the final, which ended in a 1-all draw. Venco won the tournament 4-3 on penalties.
San Miguel’s outstanding goalkeeper Simelela Vumisa was handed a Kaizer Chiefs jersey for becoming the Goalkeeper of the Tournament. His acrobatic saves helped his side to reach the semis, but then lost 3-0 to the eventual winners.
Amakhosi also selected Simnikiwe Mbande to join the development team at the Village for a trial. The young striker scored numerous goals and was a major force in helping Venco win the tournament.
San Miguel’s manager for South Africa, Andries du Preez showed great enthusiasm when he spoke about the cooperation with Amakhosi on this soccer community project. “We’ve been running this project for a few years. However, working with Kaizer Chiefs has taken the project to another level.
“We hope it’s the first year of a long partnership to give back to the community in Addo Valley. We are an Argentinean company – both Argentina and South Africa share an immense passion for football. We could see how the community reacted to the presence and participation of Chiefs this year. We are already looking forward to the next edition.”
Amakhosi’s Sundra Govinder was also positive. “We could see the impact we had on the community. Most in this area support our club. It’s important to do these kind of community projects. We touched people’s lives. We must never underestimate the effect it has on people when we, as Kaizer Chiefs, come to rural areas like Addo Valley. We enjoyed it too, it was a magnificent experience.”
The Kaizer Chiefs and San Miguel Soccer Community project will finish today when trials are held for the Under-19s and Under-16s. “There is some great talent in the area,” Govinder concludes. “We will select another player to come on trial with us. It’s another way of giving back to the people in Addo Valley.”