The Nelson Mandela University football team have produced a level of consistency on the playing field which could saw them play an influential role in the game in the Nelson Mandela Metro.
By winning the SAB NMB Regional League for the second straight year, club president Glenton de Kock said “football within Nelson Mandela Metro is now at a fascinating and critical stage of development”.
“With the growth of clubs in the semi-professional leagues (SAB and ABC Motsepe), the most obvious missing representation is in the National First Division,” said De Kock.
“With its unique socio-economic business model and distinct successes, Madibaz Sport drives a systematic approach to building a platform for football knowledge, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit the university and the city’s football industry on multiple levels.
“We hope our recent success will act as a catalyst for more investment, creating a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of football to the regional and national football family.”
With the SAB League title secured, Madibaz coach Wayne Iveson said their attention was now solely on the play-offs, which take place next month.
“The mood in the camp is positive and mental capacity is going to be of vital importance to achieve success in the play-offs,” he said.
“Strategies to assist with the mental preparation of the players are in place.
Madibaz Sport Football manager Mark Tommy said the management team had all contributed to their success.
“In all Madibaz Football prides itself on our professionalism and depth of the university football programme,” he said.
He added that the club’s Outreach and Community Engagement project with Ndzondelelo High ensured there was a good stream of talent to develop.
“Our U16 and U18 teams have performed exceptionally well in the PEFA leagues where, for a second time, the Madibaz U17 team have qualified for the prestigious Engen tournament to be hosted by Glenville in June.”
Tommy also spoke about the massively successful university Campus Football League, which boasts 21 men’s teams playing on campus every Sunday.
“These are essential pillars of Madibaz Football as we have to rely on ‘growing our own timber’ because we do not have the sport bursary capacity or any sponsorship to attract and retain the best talent in the Eastern Cape.
“Success breeds success and that is what we are selling. To achieve the objectives described in our strategic plan, we need the assistance of all sectors as we position Madibaz Football as a true local brand.
“We strongly believe the Madibaz Football brand is a perfect fit for Nelson Mandela Bay to grow its own professional football team with an academy that can contribute to the missing link in the football offering in the city.”