Noordhoek FC’s under-10 side’s excellent run in this year’s Cape District Football Association (CDFA) Knockout competition came to an end at the last hurdle when they lost 2-1 to Southampton in the final, at the William Herbert Sports Ground, at the weekend.
To their credit, however, the little ones from Noordhoek and the surroundings, didn’t go down without a fight. Playing without their coach Spencer Siljeur on the sidelines, the youngsters pushed Southampton all the way.
They showed they were not in the final by fluke and, as a result, their opponents had to produce something special, and even spectacular, to win the match.
Southampton had to wait until extra time to find the winning goal.
The knockouts kicked off mid-season and the Noordhoek side quietly, but effectively, went about their business, eliminating every team on their way to the final.
In the final itself, they didn’t show much signs of cracking as they held Southampton for the entire match before losing concentration on extra time, allowing their opponents to record a 2-1 win.
Mbulelo Dumani, who stood in for coach Siljeur on the day, admitted lack of concentration at the key parts of the game.
This, he said, was a result of a number of things, including the fact that the youngsters may have not been able to grasp the message he was sending across.
As much as that is not an excuse, Dumani could be forgiven because the youngsters didn’t really know what he expected of them and he, on the other hand, was not really sure of each player’s strengths and weaknesses.
“Although I am an under-14 coach, which means I was unable to watch some of the team’s matches earlier on in the competition, I know from those I watched that the boys have been fairly consistent. In the final, however, they seemed to be confused,” he said.
“The boys also lost concentration, especially during extra time, in dangerous parts of the field.
“That gave our opponents belief that they could find the goal they wanted. I guess they struggled to grasp my message as I was coaching them for the first time. Having said that, that is not an excuse. Southampton played well,” said Dumani.
The under-14 coach said the opportunity he was offered to coach the side in that final gave him first-hand experience that the future of the club is bright as the players, besides occasional loss of concentration, showed good awareness, especially considering their age.
“I am sure they will be even better players when they reach under-14 level and I am looking forward to working with them, on a full-time bases, when they get to that age group,”he said.
Established in 2009 by what chairman Joey Delcarme called, on the club’s facebook page, a “bunch of soccer mad, over-the-hill, old cronies who were fed up with what was happening in the Fish Hoek valley”, the club’s founding principles included offering children a safe place to play the game.
“A handful of parents who don’t take their privilege for granted have started a soccer club open to all at Noordhoek Sports Fields.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Noordhoek FC now boasts the most integrated soccer club of the Southern Peninsula,” he said.
The club, which plays in the CDFA, has grown since its inception from a handful of players back in 2009 to the more than 200 they have now, including juniors and seniors.
Most of their players come from places such as Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Noordhoek, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek, Capri and Glencairn.