Author: Ntokozo Simelane

SAFA Hold first Inter-LFA Tournament in Decades

A host of amateur footballers who dream of playing professional football got a chance to impress football scouts from different clubs at the inaugural Mayoral Talent Super Cup. The inaugural tournament played during Youth Day weekend starting on June 16 ending on Sunday 19 June 2022 at Kempville Stadium, Mkhondo. It was the first Inter-Sub LFA tournament to be played in over a decade featuring Under 21 &Under 23 division players.

The Mayoral Talent Super Cup teams were made up of players selected from Leagues playing under the Mkhondo Local Football Association. Five (5) Sub LFAs selected their best players to make what is commonly known as squads in football terms. Professional scouts were invited to watch the best of Mkhondo talent. There were two divisions (U21&U23) consisting of six teams each playing round robin matches. The group winners proceeded to the final while the runners-up played for the 3rd place position. Group A winners Thandukukhanya Stream B emerged as the champions of the under 21 championship after defeating Thandukukhanya Stream A 1-0 in the final. Siyethemba Sulphur Springs Sub LFA defeated Amsterdam Sub LFA to take up the 3rd place position of the under 21 division.

Amsterdam Sub LFA won the final of the U23 division 5-4 on penalties after playing an entertaining 0-0 draw against Thandukukhanya Stream A. In the 3rd place playoff Siyethemba Sulphur Springs thrashed Thandukukhanya Stream B 3-0 to add to the their U21 triumph in the same position. It was a beautiful display of football by the best players developed in Mkhondo in the past 9 wasted years.

“The future here is looking bright we will come back in search of more young talent, keep well and listen to your coaches.”

The prize giving included individual awards for the best performing players. In the under 21 division Qiniso Mdluli won player of the tournament, Manqoba Magudulela won keeper of the tournament with the Top Scorer award going to Thandukukhanya Stream B captain Mxolisi Mncube. The under 23 best player award went to 18 year old right back Nhlanhla Hlatshwayo. Amsterdam Sub LFA goalkeeper Sizwe Nhleko won the goalkeeper of the tournament award. The top scorer award was shared by Ngceboyenkosi Kunene and Innocent Maphalala from Thandukukhanya Stream A&B both scoring 2 goals each.

The need or demand for exposure by amateur football players received a boost when the Mkhondo Local Municipality agreed to support the talent scouting competition. Former Amajita (U20) captain and current Tuks FC goalkeeper Dumsani Msibi and player agent Mr Nkosinathi Thomo of @Asa Prosport organised the tournament along with the Mkhondo Local Football Association. The duo presented the tournament proposal to the executive Mayor of Mkhondo who promptly agreed to the project, the rest is history as we are telling it now.

The tournament was blessed by Mkhondo Local Municipality Executive Mayor Hon Cllr. Mthokozisi A Simelane. He gave a touching speech at the prize giving ceremony on the importance of assisting local players get exposure and to have sports leagues. “This tournament aims to give exposure to local players as you see we have professional scouts in our midst. I saw it as a need to have this tournament as the executive mayor because this is also part of service delivery. We have huge talent that need to be exposed to professional teams. I will like to thank the LFA, Dumsani Msibi and Nkosinathi Thomo for organising this tournament,” he said.

He congratulated newly promoted side Flymingo United FC for winning promotion to the ABC Motsepe League. The Mayor also appealed to Mkhondo clubs to allow their best players to join the newly promoted club. “Congratulations to the newly promoted Flymingo United you have made us all proud. Our players now have a good chance of showcasing their talent. The team will help our players get exposure and we hope to see them on the field next season,” he said.

The mayor also thanked the Mkhondo LFA Deputy Chairperson Mr Mduduzi Nkosi for keeping the local leagues active. “Mr Nkosi I believe this was also your dream and we must thank you as the association for keeping the dream alive. Let us not kill the project by asking for match balls when Flymingo ask for players to boost the team,” said the Mayor. He appealed to clubs to give their best players to the team and work together for the benefit of Mkhondo football.

The visiting scouts vowed to come back in search of more talent in Mkhondo. One of them was TS Galaxy FC Development Coach Miss Zanele ‘Momo’ Sukazi who hails from Sbethamoya, Mkhondo. Coach Momo was happy to be invited to watch local talent at home. “I am happy to see what is being done here at home to put our football on the map by exposing young talented players. You can be anywhere you can be as players as long as you have respect for parents at home and our coaches. The future here is looking bright we will come back in search of more young talent, keep well and listen to your coaches,” she ended.

Talent scout Mr Nathi Diale thanked the players for a beautiful display of football at the awards ceremony. In his words he said, “Ngithanda ukubonga the organisers of such a beautiful football event but mostly pass my sincere gratitude to the people that made this event possible the players. There’s talent eMkhondo and would like to say to the players please marry your talent with school so that you can always have choices in your career.”

The scouts came from different clubs including TS Galaxy FC, Amazulu FC, Polokwane City FC and Football Academies. Among the people watching the final was former executive Mayor Hon. Cllr. Vusi ‘Sgemegeme’ Motha who could not hold his excitement over the promotion of his club Flymingo United FC. Kusazobamnandi eMkhondo for sure.

Breaking News: League ends in dramatic fashion

The champions of Thandukukhanya Promotion League Stream A for the 2021/22 season has been decided in a dramatic fashion. This happened after the Mkhondo LFA Disciplinary Committee ruled that the match between Comet Riders FC vs Mara Mara FC will not be replayed. The decision was taken earlier this evening (Tuesday 31 May 2022). This effectively means that the club from Ajax will be going to the playoffs for the second time in the club’s history.

The stream A champions won the league on goal difference having tied with Comet Riders FC on 56 points after 22 matches played. Ajax Sweepers scored 66 goals conceding 18 making out a goal difference of +48 goals. Their rivals to the title Comet Riders FC scored 64 goals conceding 23 and ended up with a +41 goal difference. Both clubs won eighteen (18) matches drawing two (2) and only losing two (2) games apiece.

At the disciplinary hearing of the Mkhondo LFA held on Tuesday evening (31 May 2022) Comet Riders FC was represented by Coach Oliver Nkosi. Mara Mara FC was also present represented by club Owner Mr Bazooka Ntuli. The chairperson of the disciplinary committee Mr Mduduzi “Johnny’ Nkosi gave both parties a chance to explain the events that led to their match being called off. The match in question was a rescheduled league match on Saturday 7 May 2022 which played at Kwantombazana Ground, Thandukukhanya. The report received by the association was that the match did not finish because it became dark with three (3) minutes left of play. This raised suspicion which led to an investigation by the LFA hence the appearance of the clubs.

The LFA will have to investigate further otherwise we risk staining our reputation

The evidence presented by both clubs was the same with very few contradictions. It was found that the match did kick-off at the correct time of 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon and that the 2nd half began at 3:35. The disciplinary committee found that there could not be any justification of saying the match did not finish because it was dark and that there was still three (3) minutes left. Speaking to the chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee Mr Johnny Nkosi said this matter will be treated with the utmost care and will be investigated further because it has characteristics of match fixing. “We have reason to suspect that this match and a few others in both streams of Thandukukhanya Promotion League were not done correct. The LFA will have to investigate further otherwise we risk staining our reputation,” he said.

Ajax Sweepers FC will join five (5) other champions on Wednesday afternoon at the draw for the Mkhondo Promotion League 2021/22 season Promotional Playoffs. The others are:

  1. Amsterdam Promotion League champs Amabhubesi FC
  2. Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Promotion League champs Kunene FC
  3. Newly formed stream Simakade Promotion League champs Juventus FC
  4. Siyethemba Promotion League champs Black Lion FC
  5. Thandukukhanya Promotion League Stream B champions Total Football United FC

The 2022 Mkhondo Promotional Playoffs will be played this weekend on 04&05 June 2022 at Emoyeni Stadium, Amsterdam in the Mkhondo Local Municipality.

Vumbuka Trust Cup wraps up this weekend

Cup tournaments are always full of excitement, entertainment and drama. It matters not if the tournament is played by professional athletes or amateurs. Since the beginning of October 2021 the Vumbuka Trust Cup has been dishing delicious football entertainment to football fanatics in Mkhondo. The biggest cup tournament in the Gert Sibande Region of Mpumalanga wraps up this weekend on Sunday 21 November 2021 where six (6) divisions will be playing the finals from 8am.

The football pitch is where the fun has been found, while the boardroom has been filled with drama coming from the pitch. The fun is provided through matches coming from six football divisions of the Mkhondo Local Football Association: U13, U15, U17, U15 girls, Ladies and Mkhondo Promotion League. A record number of clubs entered to play this year’s tournament. This increase was due to the addition of clubs from other Sub LFAs affiliated under the Mkhondo Local Football Association. Apart from the original hosts Thandukukhanya Sub LFA the association added Amsterdam, Ngema-Dirkiesdorp, Siyethemba Sulphur Springs and the newly established Simakade Sub LFA. Each Sub LFA played an elimination round producing their own champions.

The development teams which included the boys (under 13, U15 & U17) played the majority of matches during the school holidays. The under 13 final is not yet decided due to a dispute between Thandolokukhanya FC vs Citizen FC which the Mkhondo LFA has ruled to be replayed on Saturday 20 November 2021. The winner will face Golden Stars FC in the final. The under 15 division will be contested by Silver Stars FC vs First Touch FC while the under 17 division final will be between Mangosuthu rivals Mara Mara vs Comet Riders FC.

The total sponsorship amounts to a whooping R120 000 from the sponsors Vumbuka Trust, a BBBEE partner at TWK. Previously the prizes have included playing equipment for all the finalists and this year the same is expected.
Vumbuka Trust Cup 2021 Ladies division. Losta Stars Ladies FC 0 Diski Queens 0. Losta Stars Ladies FC won the semi final match 6-5 on penalties on Saturday 30 October 2021 at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya. The final will be contested by Losta Stars Ladies vs Saul Mkhizeville Ladies on Sunday 21 November 2021.

The girls under 15 had the same number of teams as the 2019 edition i.e. four teams. They played a round robin format leaving the top two teams Mkhondo City Stars vs Saul Mkhizeville Ladies to contest the final. Eleven Stars Ladies and Mara Mara Ladies finished on 3rd and 4th positions.

The senior ladies division featured eleven (11) teams playing a knockout round. The final will be contested by SASOL League side Losta Stars Ladies against newly formed Saul Mkhizeville Ladies. The Saul Mkhizeville Ladies are the underdogs but are expected to put up a brave fight on Sunday against 2019 runners-up Losta Stars Ladies FC.

The Sub LFA champions were involved in the semi finals on Sunday 14 November 2021 at Kempville Stadium. Blck Luion FC from Sulphur Springs will contest the final against Atletico Madrid FC from eMabola at the main finale at 3pm. The all division finale will begin with the Under 13 final at 8am followed by Under 15 girls, Under 15 boys, Under 17 boys, Ladies final and the Promotion League final at 3pm on Sunday 21 November 2021 at Kempville Stadium, Mkhondo. Winners will then be crowned after the seniors final with prizes to be awarded to the champions and runners-up.

The total sponsorship amounts to a whooping R120 000 from the sponsors Vumbuka Trust, a BBBEE partner at TWK. Previously the prizes have included playing equipment for all the finalists and this year the same is expected. The senior ladies and male teams previously received playing equipment and cash as prizes. Each division will receive a champion trophy, and Gold medals while the runners up receive silver medals.

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