A soccer tournament to celebrate the birthday of a coach, guardian and mentor in grassroots football was held on Friday 05 October 2018 at AJ Swanepoel Stadium, Ermelo in the Gert Sibande Region of Mpumalanga. Eight teams participated in Bra J 41st Birthday Celebration Cup for under 13 division honouring the birthday of Dumisani “Jomo” Malaza the founder of Wesselton Stars FC.
The first phase of the cup was a point system with two groups made up of four teams per group (A&B). The hosts Wesselton Stars FC finished on top of group A with 7 points after winning 2-1 against Mighty Little Guys FC of Chresiesmeer. The hosts then played a 1-all draw against Mara FC from Mkhondo. They then sealed the top spot with a 1-0 win over group runners up Mpumalanga United FC also from Ermelo. In group B the pride of Breyten topped the group with a 100% record. Breyten Stars coach Doctor ‘Skhulu” Mnisi came prepared with his team winning 1-0 against City Gunners FC from Ermelo, a 3-0 win against three times Mkhondo Development League champions Citizen FC. They won the last group match 1-0 against Mega Force Academy.
In the semi-finals Wesselton Stars FC won 2-1 against Mega Force Academy to reach the final. Breyten Stars FC came back from a goal down to force the game to go on penalties against Mpumalanga United FC in the other semi-final. Breyten Stars FC won 4-2 on penalties to set up a mouth-watering final against friendly rivals Wesselton Stars FC.
The final game played for only 40 minutes but left spectators satisfied with the football displayed by the future stars. Wesselton Stars did not have a good game but their defending and perseverance helped them to hold and stop the multiple attacks by Breyten Stars FC in the first half. A tired looking Wesselton Stars FC used their only two chances in the match to take the lead 2-0. The consolation goal for Breyten Stars FC was scored by player of the tournament Roger Thembekayo in the late stages of the game to end the final 2-1 in favour of coach Comfort “Spoko” Mokoena’s side. Wesselton Stars became the champions of the 41st Birthday Celebrations Cup. Mpumalanga United FC finished 3rd after walloping Mega Force Academy 6-0 in the third place playoff. The champions received a big trophy and gold medals. The runners up received a small trophy and silver medals.
The 3rd placed team Mpumalanga United FC received a small trophy and bronze medals while the 4th placed team Mega Force Academy received bronze medals only. There were also individual prizes: Goalkeeper of the tournament went to Mpendulo Simelane of Wesselton Stars FC. The top goal scorer went to Sanele Mathunjwa of Mpumalanga United FC and the player of the tournament was awarded to hardworking winger Roger Thembekayo of Breyten Stars FC. The football displayed by the children gives hope that one day Bafana Bafana will return to the glory days. The sponsors that are coming on board are also assisting a great deal.