|Sample 1: Fan Focus - Mzion Mofokeng of Orlando Pirates
'MY BLOOD IS BLACK AND WHITE'
Anthony McLennan recently met up with a man who, despite having never worn the famous black and white of Orlando Pirates on the soccer field, will always be remembered as a legend in the Buccaneers history.
Of course I am referring to none other than Johannes 'Mzion' Mofokeng, who has to be one of the most loyal and dedicated soccer supporters anywhere in the world.
After speaking to Mzion, I realsied that if the rest of the country's supporters could only show as much as 10% commitment to supporting their teams as this man does, then the Premier Soccer League would be much the richer for it.
His love of the Amabhakabhaka is so strong that unfortunately it ended up even costing him his marriage, and despite receiving little support from the club or its sponsors, he continues to travel the length and breadth of the country to ensure he never misses a second of action when his beloved side are playing.
Anthony McLennan (A.M): Hi Mzion, its a great honour to speak to you. Can you start by explaining how, and when you first started supporting the Mighty Bucs?
Mzion : I first started supporting the Buccaneers at the age of eight, which is 47-years ago! One day my brother sent me to the shop to buy the newspaper. When I looked at the paper, I saw a photograph of a soccer game where there was one player, who was wearing black and white with his head down. I asked my brother about this, who explained that it was Orlando Pirates player Abram "Mainline" Khoza, who was performing a scissors kick.
I also used to support a team in the township of Meyerton called 'Meyerton Swallows'. This team also used to wear black and white. Also, when I went to school, I wore black and white, and the same applied when I went to church, so far this day on, I had black and white running through my veins.
When I first started watching the team, I had to sneak out through the back door of my house because my father was very strict man and did not want me attending games at such a young age.
A.M: Which of the former Buccaneers greats are the biggest legends in your view?
Mzion : There are so many, I cannot name them all. From Eric 'Scara' Sono, the goal getter Kenneth "Black Sash" Mazibuko, Paradise Phokoane, Kaizer Motaung and Kaizer Mkhwanazi to Mainline Khoza, Bernard 'Dancing Shoes' Hartze and Remember Maja (whose stature reminds me 'the little Napoleon', Bennedict Vilakazi).
Then there are the likes of Continental Kekana, Shakes Mashaba, Yster Khomane, Welcome Nkosi and goalkeeper Tatson 'Kamuza' Banda, who used to play without gloves, as they did in those days.
Then of course, the 'King of Soccer', Jomo Sono. Jomo could score, he could dribble, he could do everything. He could make you happy, he could make you cry, he could make you fall down! He would make you leave your house at any time to go and see him.
A.M: Are you happy with the progress made under coach Kostadin 'Bill Clinton' Papic and what would you like to see the team achieve in the near future?
Mzion: Yes, he has ben excellent and the team has been delivering some outstanding performances under Papic. I have been very impressed with the new coach, and I hope he continues in the way he is doing. I think that if the players continue to play to Papic's instructions, we are going to be vert successful.
What I would like to see the current team achieve is to emulate the great side of 1976, which won all the trophies on offer that season.
A.M: Do you have any personal favourites in the team?
Mzion: I do not have any personal favourites, I like to support all the players in the team, including those who do not make the side - they are all special to me.
My philosophy is not to support individuals, but to support the club as a whole. There are many fans who do not do this, and I am trying to educate them to change their ways.
A.M: Do you thinks soccer in this country is moving in the right direction?
Mzion : Yes, it is very professional these days and much more organised. Everything has improved and a greater emphasis has been placed on things such as social responsibility, which is important.
One thing I want to work upon is to encourage brotherhood amongst the fans of the different teams, especially with 2010 coming up, we will all be supporting Bafana Bafana, so it is important to start standing together now already. I would also like to encourage 'fans' not to be 'choosey' when deciding what games to watch, they should attend all matches, big or small. They also need to understand that true fans go to the stadiums and do not only support their beloved teams from their couches.
A.M: Thanks Mzion, it was great meeting you, and I hope that soccer fans in this country can take a leaf out of your book! And I hope for your sake that the 'Happy People' continue to shine!
Mzion: Its a pleasure my brother.
|Sample 2: Interview with Portsmouth defender Lauren
Lauren – No Stopping The Exodus
31 July 2008
Portsmouth defender Lauren believes that African footballers will continue to flock to Europe in their masses, despite the detrimental effect this can have on domestic leagues.
The veteran Cameroon defender was speaking in Cape Town, following Portsmouth’s 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in a friendly game played at Ikamva on Wednesday morning.
The English Premiership side carved up the Urban Warriors with some slick inter-passing in the opening 45 minutes and took a two goal advantage into the break, thanks to goals from Jermaine Defoe and Pedro Mendez.
The Cape side however looked better in the second half as Sameeg Doutie and later Mkhanyiseli Siwahla made inroads into the visitors defence, before finally netting a consolation goal, thanks to a stunning strike by Dipsy Selowane.
Lauren played alongside his former Arenal team-mate Sol Campbell in defence.
Along with the likes of team-mate Kanu, who was injured and did not feature, Lauren has been instrumental in paving the way for African footballers to play in the English Premiership, thanks to his professional conduct during nearly a decade in the league.
Only in recent years has there been a major influx of African soccer players to England – previously there were doubts over their ability to adapt to the fast paced and physical nature of the game in Britain.
But players like Lauren have given managers more confidence to sign players from the African continent.
”Yes, I believe players like Kanu and myself have helped to change the perception – another player who did this was Tony Yeboah.
These days African players have also changed their mentality – they understand the need to play disciplined and structured football.
The number of players now playing in the Premiership is testament to this,” he said.
However, the increasing numbers emigrating to Europe could well be having an adverse effect on the quality of local football – certainly more and more African fans now prefer to support a European or English team and are neglecting to follow their local teams.
Lauren does nor however believe there is much that can be done about this as the lure of the Euro or Englishpound is proving to much.
”This is just the way things are – you have to take the economics into account – players are not left with much choice – all the money is in Europe and everyone wants to play for the Arsenals, Chelsea’s and Barcelona’s.
”Unfortunately this is the way things are and we have to accept it – players from all over the world are playing in Europe – its not just African players,” he said.
|Sample 3: Question and answer with former PSL boss, Trevor Phillips
Q & A With Trevor Phillips
Wednesday March 09 2005
PSL CEO Trevor Phillips was in London last week, where he addressed a seminar held at the Birckbeck College University. Amoung other things, Phillips highlighted the need for a dedicated soccer channel on TV...
Phillips' speech was well received and covered topics ranging from the turn-around in the fortunes of the PSL as a business, to the 2010 World Cup, as well as his vision for the creation of a dedicated television soccer channel.
SASoccer365's Anthony McLennan chatted to the PSL boss about the proposed television channel, as well as some other PSL-related subjects...
Q: You mentioned during your speech in London was that you would like to see a television channel dedicated to soccer, can you elaborate on this please.
A: I firmly believe that soccer in South Africa needs to develop a dedicated, digital soccer channel. Of course it would have to be affordable to the mass market, but with the developments in technology, the price should soon come down to an acceptable level.
A dedicated soccer channel would enable us to generate much needed income to improve all aspects of the game, from the top flight, right down to grassroots level.
The bottom line is that South Africa is the only country in the world where the sport supported by the majority of the population, soccer, receives less money than a minority-supported sport such as rugby does. (Soccer receives only a quarter of the amount from TV rights which rugby does).
This is why I feel that we should breakaway from the current constraints we have with the SABC, and form a dedicated soccer satellite channel, which as I said before, would have to be affordable to the majority of the population. It is also important that money generated from this proposed channel be pumped back into the infrastructure of the game, at all levels.
Q: With regards to clubs attracting sponsors, things certainly seem to be looking up, with VodaCom and Netcare coming on board at Bloemfontein Celtic and Silver Stars respectively. You must be pleased with the progress that is being made in this respect?
A: Yes, we are moving in the right direction, but there is still some way to go. There are still two clubs (Manning Rangers and Dynamos) without sponsors.
The PSL has actively been involved in helping clubs to attract sponsors - we do the presentations for them and help to unlock doors. The key is to convince potential sponsors that it is viable for them to come on board - that the money will be used effectively and to the benefit of the club and the community, and not end up in somebody's back pocket.
Corporate South Africa has been slow to come on board and bridge the gap to local communities, but it is slowly starting to happen.
Q: The current PSL season has provided local soccer fans with plenty of entertainment. There seems to have been an increase in the amount of supporters turning out at the stadiums, while the strikers have also come to the party by keeping the scoring charts ticking over - your take on this?
A: This season the league has been closer than ever. What has also stood out for me is the number of exciting games we have had - there have been a number of high scoring matches, like the 4-3 results between Chiefs and Sundowns, as well as Leopards and Dynamos.
We have also noticed the increase in crowds, which is fantastic. Its going to be a real dog fight down at the bottom of the league as the clubs try to avoid relegation and the remainder of the season promises to be very exciting.
Q: The newly-formed Mvela Golden League seems to have achieved all it set out to do, and more. It has been professionally run and also looks set to reach a thrilling climax. Do you agree?
A: I am very happy with the way the league has gone so far. Credit must go to the First Division manager, Andrew Dipela, for doing a great job. We can see the benefits of the league already, with a couple of Mvela players being called up to the Bafana Bafana side, while others have been signed by Premiership clubs. The only thing that concerns me is the number of foreign-born players in the league, as this could slow down the progress of some of the local youngsters.
|Sample 4 Development team: Mighty Dutch
AmaDutch are a small team with big ambitions for the future
Anthony McLennan recently assisted the club in a coaching session consisting of about 50 eager and talented nine to 15 year-olds on a rainy afternoon in the sprawling Cape township of Khayelitsha.
The typical township scene of a group of kids kicking around an old ball on a dusty field may almost be a cliché these days, yet it was still a humbling experience to witness the enthusiasm and dedication - not to mention the raw talent - of these underprivileged youngsters as they went about their drills.
Their training ground did not contain a single blade of grass, balls were few and far between and of poor quality, while only a fortunate few actually owned what most of us take for granted - a pair of soccer boots.
But this did not hinder the kids from getting stuck in and showing some real talent - it was inspiring to see the natural technique and skill a number of the youngsters possessed.
CapeSoccer's trip to Khayelitsha only proved to confirm that Cape Town (and South Africa's) townships are brimming with talent and that there is no reason that this country cannot become one of the dominant forces in world football - its just a question of making sure that these youngsters are given the proper channels and provided with the right management to fully develop their abilities.
Mighty Holland caters for about 60-70 children in the U-9 to U-11 age group, a further 60-70 in the U-13 to U-15 age category, 30-35 in the U-17 division, while they also have two mens' sides - one in the A2 Division of the Thembelethu-Mfuleni Football Association and one in the Super League of the same association.
The club, also known as 'AmaDutch' , were formed in 1999 and in 2000 they became an official entity after enrolling in the Khayelitsha Football Association.
Their home ground is at the Mfuleni Stadium, while they use a ground in Blue Downs as an alternative venue when needed.
One of the driving forces behind the club is team manager and junior coach Thembela Spalla, who explained to CapeSoccer where the club has come from and where it is heading:
"We were formed six years ago and shortly afterwards we joined the Khayelitsha Football Association. Mighty Holland took its name from the Dutch national team, whose players and playing style were admired by many of our members.
"We recruit our players from the streets from surrounding areas like Mandela Park, SST, Town 2 and Graceland," he said.
It has not all been plain sailing for the club, however, as it encountered various problems, including the organization of transport for the players.
"We sometimes have to travel as far as Stellenbosch and Somerset West and on two occasions we were unable to organize transport as it can be very costly and we therefore lost six points," said a despondent Spalla.
Another issue AmaDutch have had to tackle is the alleged cheating by officials in the Khayelitsha Football Association.
"We were finding that the officials were biased to certain clubs and that they even went as far as changing the results that were submitted," pointed out Spalla.
"We therefore decided to join the Thembelethu-Mfuleni Football Association as we deemed them to be the best in the area. Our goal now is to qualify for one of the higher divisions such as the Shell League and then work our way upwards and at present we are on the verge of doing that because our first team is performing very well," Spalla explained enthusiastically.
Big ambitions indeed for a small team, but with the passion and commitment of the club members, the sky is the limit for 'AmaDutch' and CapeSoccer wishes them all the best in their future endeavors.
Mighty Holland Club Profile
District: Thembelethu-Mfuleni Football Association
Home ground: Mfuleni Stadium
Chairman: Albert November
First Team coach: Tumelo Lebalo
By Anthony McLennan
|Sample 5: Opposition Analysis
Opposition Analysis : SuperSport United
30 April 2008
A look at what The Peoples’ Team could be up against in tonight’s crucial clash against Matsatsantsa at the Athlone Stadium (19H30 Kick Off)
SuperSport come into this game on the back of a 3-1 reverse to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Preceding the loss to their Pretoria neighbours, coach Gavin Hunt’s men beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 , but lost 2-0 to AmaZulu.
This erratic form does not however point to the quality of the team, but is more than likely the result of the immense pressure they are beginning to feel as the league title race goes down to the wire.
Make no mistake – SuperSport are a very, very good side, who a couple of weeks ago, were many pundits’ favourite for the title after their excellent run of form over the last five or six months.
Under Hunt they are a well drilled unit with a bunch of players who know each other’s play very well, as is often demonstrated by the team’s fluidity in attack and movement off the ball.
The only likely omission for the Pretoria side is that of young striker Kermit Erasmus, who has a broken nose.
But that loss to United is offset by the return of Cape Town born-players Ricardo Katza and Shane Poggenpoel, as well as Letladi Madubanya and Fikru Teferra.
To give the Santos fans a better idea of what to expect from tonight’s game at Athlone, we take a look at some of the key SuperSport men.
Goal keeper: Former Santos keeper Andre Arendse has been back in goal recently after reclaiming his spot from Denis Onyango.
More than anything else, Arendse’s wealth of experience will provide a calming influence for the Tshwane side.
Defence: Centre-back Bongani Khumalo has had an outstanding season since his move from Tuks and has received several Bafanan Bafana call-ups. His defensive game is solid if unspectacular, while his height is always makes him a threat from set pieces.
He is likely to start alongside former Hellenic hard man, Katza, who is an uncompromising defender as they come. If anything though, the SuperSport backline lacks pace, something which could be exploited.
Midfield: Dain Klate is a very underrated winger who can cause defences all kinds of trouble from the left flank. He has loads of skill, a great cross, and is a big threat from set-pieces with his cultured left boot.
On the other wing, Mozambique-born Elias Pelembe has been in great form this season, scoring a couple of goals along the way, and will need to be carefully monitored.
Dennis Masina is another option for Hunt, and while he may start on the bench, the Swazi international is an intelligent player who should not be underestimated for his slight stature.
Former Ajax man Poggenpoel is a classy central midfielder who reads the game well – he is most likely to be the man tasked with breaking down Santos’ attacks.
Strikers: Kathlego Mphela has not featured much this season due to apparent off-the-field issues. However, he did start against Sundowns, and has a good record against Santos, having netted three times against The Peoples’ Team, so expect to him earning a starting place tonight. The Bafana Bafana striker has blistering pace and a plan will need to be made to keep him under wraps.
Former Pirates striker Tefera has not really found his feet at SuperSport yet, not in a goal-scoring sense anyway. But he is a strong player, whose physical presence can allow the likes of Mphela, Pelembe and Klate more freedom.