A club that was previously regarded poor recently became rich, they got rewarded with a brand new playing kit and a big trophy after winning the final of Build It Under 13 Knockout Cup 2018. Shining Stars FC surprised and put joy to everyone’s faces when they won 4-3 on penalties against Flymingo United FC in the final played at a chilly and wet Masenkeni Stadium on Saturday 18 August 2018.
The club looked very determined to win the tournament coming as early 7 in the morning to the stadium in time for their first fixture which they won 2-0 against Bayern Munich FC. The club demolished PR Barcelona FC in the quarter finals with 5-0 win leading to PR Barcelona FC coach DJ Mshololo into calling the match off with 5 minutes left to play in the second half. “The boys were affected badly by the cold weather, some were just stationery and shaking during the game and I decided enough is enough. They did not use soccer boots because of the condition of the pitch and that led to them feeling the cold at their feet,” he said after asking the match referee to call off the match. He did however give credit to their opponents. “Shining Stars FC is very strong today they will win the cup I tell you.”
The seasoned development coach predicted correct as the club went on to defeat PR Wanderers FC 3-0 in the semi-final to set up the final with tournament favourites and current Thandukukhanya Junior League leaders Flymingo United FC. The other finalists Flymingo United FC did not have it easy on the way to the final. They won 1-0 against Eleven Stars FC before dispatching rivals and 2016 champions Citizen FC by 2 goals to nil. They met 2017 champions Mara Mara FC in the semi-final scoring first before conceding a late goal that took the match to the penalties which they won 3-2 to reach the final. In the final both players showed signs of tiring but they still produced entertaining football. Flymingo United FC were the most drained having played tougher matches on the way to their first Build IT u/13 KO final. Shining Stars FC played like they were possessed by a winning spirit of some sort or maybe because they knew someone was watching by the name of Ayanda Mkhize the chief scout of Amazulu FC.
“The boys were affected badly by the cold weather, some were just stationery and shaking during the game and I decided enough is enough.”
The shortest player on the field and captain of Shining Stars Melusi “Mabhuti” Masuku played his best game of the season teaming with Loyiso “General” Ndlangamandla in the attack. Flymingo United FC coach Thokozani ‘TeeKay’ Hlatshwayo is a huge fan of Manchester United FC manager Jose Mourinho and his influence on defence methods helped his young players to contain the dangerous combination of Mabhuti and General. He used one of the most promising young stars Ntando Mavuso in front of his defence to contain the attack by Shining Stars FC. The two teams played to a 0-0 draw in regulation time until penalties separated them. Shining Stars FC from Wilverdiend, an under developed section inside Thandukukhanya, eMkhondo won its first ever cup and the most prestigious tournament in the development league.
The coach and owner of the club Mr Zwane is unemployed and make a living by taking construction jobs every now and then. His love for the young boys inspired everyone at the stadium to wish for their win. It happened in front of a big crowd of young footballers, coaches and fans.
“Amazulu FC take good care of young players and put them to school but always expect good results at school.”
The young boys were given prizes at the prize giving conducted by Mbongi Mbokazi from Build IT. He asked officials to say a few words beginning with local manager of Ayob Build IT Mr Mohammed who thanked the boys for playing nice football. The Mkhondo LFA chairperson Mr Ñhlanhla Mkhonza thanked the company for the great tournament and bringing Amazulu FC chief scout to look at local players. Mr Ayanda Mkhize presented the player of the tournament before the handover of prizes to the runners up and champions. He was very impressed with the display by the young stars even braving the cold that will make a Durbanite shiver with cold. He even left his car for an up close look at the players until the last game. Before handing over the prize to player of the tournament Loyiso “General” Ndlangamndla, Mr Mkhize had encouraging words to the young stars. “I will not buy face to you and your association. I am impressed by the organisation of the games it really shows you have a structured league. The age cheating is not a problem here, I can see the players are of good age. The football you played is very impressive and you have a bright future if you continue to listen to your coaches and go to school. Amazulu FC take good care of young players and put them to school but always expect good results at school,” he said to a loud applause. Runners up Flymingo United FC players each received a small trophy and a bag. The champions received individual trophies, a bag each, a big champion’s trophy and a brand new playing kit.
The best moment of this year’s tournament was the announcement of five (5) players to go for trials at Amazulu FC in October. The young players are Loyiso ‘General’ Ndlangamandla & Meluleki ‘Mabhuti’ Masuku both from Shining Stars FC, Ntando Mavuso of Flymingo United FC, Siyabonga Mbhele and Sibusiso Ntuli of Mara Mara FC. The players will attend camp in October this year with other players to be selected at other Build IT tournaments.