The Madibaz men’s football team finished third in the B section of the University Sport South Africa tournament in Port Elizabeth last week to seal their promotion to the A section.
The Nelson Mandela University side defeated Stellenbosch in the third-place play-off, which saw them earn the final spot in the top section for next year’s USSA week.
Coach Wayne Iveson said they were delighted with the outcome.
“Gaining promotion was definitely our aim and it was great to achieve what we had set out to do,” he said.
“I am still convinced that if we had produced better finishing, we could have made the B section final, but we are more than happy just to return to the A section.
Madibaz Football manager Mark Tommy said it was gratifying that the players and management team had delivered on the task of gaining promotion.
“That achievement forms part of our overall strategy for Madibaz football, which is to return to the Varsity Football competition,” he said.
“We are extremely excited that we will be competing for a spot in Varsity Football in 2020.”
Tommy praised the Madibaz women’s team, who ended 12th out of 20 teams, improving on their 17th position from a year ago.
He also paid tribute to young Madibaz players Samuel Connelly and Athenkosi Papu.
“They are among the exciting young players we have and were chosen for the USSA team to compete in the Safa (SA Football Association) U21 national tournament next week,” he said.
Off the field, Tommy said the week had been an enormous success, showcasing what Madibaz football had to offer.
The five-day tournament, in which about 60 teams played on 12 fields, involved approximately 1 300 participants.
“Things went off without a hitch and we got rave reviews, which is something we, as Madibaz football, can be very proud of.”