Fish Hoek AFC’s trio, coach Moritz Kossman, player of the tournament, Cole van Cooler, and top goal scorer, Keenan Bezuidenhout, were instrumental in the team’s 2-1 win against Rock-A-Fellas to be crowned the under-16 Tournament of Light champions, at the Rocklands sports complex, at the weekend.
More than 32 teams were a part of the tournament, which uses the beautiful game to engage youth living in poverty and gang affected areas of Cape Town.
Coach Kossman said Fish Hoek had to come back from a goal down following a corner by Rock-A-Fellas, to score two goals to win the match.
Kossman said his team’s morale was rather down at half team due to some good football displayed by the host team, but after the half-time team chat, it was all guns blazing from the Fish Hoek youngsters.
“I think the guys played a really nice tournament. Credit to the hosts for a nice tournament. We had the worst start we could imagine in the final, we were 1-0 behind from a corner kick. We took a while to settle down, but I told the team to play their football and to be confident.
“Antonio (van Wyk) scored a nice freekick and we were back in the game. They (Rock-A-fellas) pushed a little but we were confident enough to score two goals. We could have won 3-1 if we didn’t miss an opportunity,” said Kossman.
He said the individual performances were a result of “exceptional” teamwork.
“We had some great individual performances. Keenan was exceptional, he scored in all group stage games. We also rested him a bit in the group stages. Keenan and his striking partner, Cole, who got the player of the tournament award, were exceptional,” he said.
Kossman acknowledged the Tournament of Light as a pathway for showcasing talented youngsters from across the city.
“The guys all have dreams of playing professional football one day, and a tournament such as this is a great way to discover such talent. We would like to congratulate Rock-A-fellas for hosting this tournament, they did a very good job. The games were on time, they were hospitable and the fields, despite the drought, were well looked after,” he said.
Kossman said the opportunity to play in the tournament would not have been possible without the consent of Fish Hoek AFC.
“We would like to thank Fish Hoek for getting us the opportunity to play at the tournament, I think they are, well I’m sure they are proud of the results we brought home,” he said.
Kossman said considering their position in the Cape Town Tygerberg Football Association (CTTFA), the season looks bright for his side to win it.
“We still got to finish off the league season. At some point we will probably play knockout, and at the end of the year we might join one more tournament, maybe the Fulham (Mitchell’s Plain) tournament.
“At the moment we are fifth on the log, and we still got a lot of games in hand. If we win all the games we can end up topping the league which is possible,” he said.
Tournament director and senior coach at Tournament of Light hosts, Rock-A-Fellas, Ishaam Johnson said it was an exciting match and both teams played very well.
Johnson said the tournament keeps many of the youngsters away from social ills.
“Many of these boys come from poverty, with little hope and few options, but they have so much talent. When we teach them football, we do it to provide positive role-models and an alternative to drugs and despondency. We see it making such a difference in their lives and the tournament really makes a difference. Well done to Fish Hoek AFC for winning the tournament,” he said.