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 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.