Girls show off skills in tournament

Academy high hosted the open girls’ soccer tournament at Jan Smuts stadium in East London on Monday, where three school teams learnt a thing or two from the ABSA League team.

DETERMINED: Girls strutting their skills during the open girls’ soccer tournament at Jan Smuts stadium in East London on Monday Picture: MARK ANDREWS

Young Achievers, who beat all three teams with wide margins, was the team of the day, scoring more than 15 goals during the one-day tournament.

Achievers’ coach, Asavela Nyeleka, said his team was all for the development of female soccer in the province, as the sport was not taken seriously enough.

“We want ladies’ football to be recognised because that way we will be able to recognise the fact that girls don’t only play netball but other sports too.

“We were number one on the ABSA League last season before the league collapse after we played seven games.”

He said they wanted to go up in the ranks because they need to play more often and that would at Sasol League.

Academy high sports director and coach Donald Zengeni said the schools were satisfied with how games commenced even though there was a low turnout from teams invited.

“Everything that was there on the checklist was there on the ground. The only setback was that we had teams that failed to raise enough squads to attend the event. That was the only problem.”

He said the schools were not deterred by the poor attendance as they had invited more than 10 teams to participate at the tournament.

“The schools’ directors were satisfied with the games played because the learners had a platform to show their talents and even though many teams didn’t show up for the event.

“The kids were excited to play at such a venue like Jan Smuts and the tournament went on as planned, and the kids were enjoying themselves at the tournament.

“Everything went on as business as usual, because girls were just having fun. For them to be given an opportunity like this one was priceless, and for them playing a top team like the Young Achievers playing in the top league was a learning experience.”

On September 14 Academy will take its team to Rustenburg for the second leg of the tournament.

“We want to build players who can play in the SASOL League, which is the top league for ladies football.

“The tournament was there to raise the profile of girls playing soccer in East London, and we were expecting the Safa Buffalo city president and some officials from the department of sports and recreation to grace the opening ceremony,” said Zengeni.

Academy principal Cedric Chitehwe said the school was ecstatic to have hosted such an event that supports girls’ soccer.

Other results of the day: Young Achievers 6-2 Tsholomnqa, Young Achievers 10-0 Academy

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