Young football team leaves for Paris tournament

Former Bafana Bafana star striker of the 1996 class of African champions, Mark Williams, was on hand to motivate and wish the young Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) football players good luck as they left for Paris.

The 14 boys and their two coaches, head coach Lebogang Ndebele and his assistant Marks ‘Mocks’ Maseko will represent South Africa and VWSA in the World Junior Masters tournament in the French capital from 13 to 16 May.

Williams, who played for a number of South African clubs such as Mamelodi Sundowns and many other overseas teams, narrated his own football journey to the young players in order to inspire them to believe in their dreams and live them.

“When I was playing amateur football on the Cape Flats, club bosses would come to my mother asking me if I could play football for their team, and each time I would demand R200 to play, so I used to make some money as a player,” he said.

Williams was later signed by Hellenic and then Jomo Cosmos before moving to Sundowns where he made his name. He then returned to Hellenic before going to play abroad.

“When I returned to Hellenic, I told the management I needed a signing-on fee of R80 000 as I wanted to buy my mother a house I had seen for that much. I insisted and refused to sign-on before that money was given to me, and the boss conceded,” he said.

“I am telling you this as a way to motivate you to believe in your dreams and also live them. I wish you good luck as you leave for Paris, and above all, go there and enjoy yourselves through football and represent us well.”

Highlands Park Football Club owner and CEO of Hatfield Volkswagen dealership, Brad Kaftel, whose dealership team emerged as the winners of the SA leg of Volkswagen Junior Masters tournament last year, said he was confident the boys would bring the trophy to South Africa.

Ndebele said he and his assistant would do their utmost in the tournament and hope to make South Africa proud by bringing the trophy to Mzansi.

Sipho Siso

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