Mamelodi painted yellow as Sundowns celebrates PSL league win

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns drive past children from Nellmapius Primary during their victory parade in Tshwane yesterday. Picture: Refilwe Modise.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns drive past children from Nellmapius Primary during their victory parade in Tshwane yesterday. Picture: Refilwe Modise.

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on May 17, 2014. 

More than 1 500 primary and secondary school learners in Nellmapius, Mamelodi, screamed their lungs out as an open double-decker bus filled with Mamelodi Sundowns players made its way through the township.

The victory parade didn’t stop for the excited learners, but this did little to dampen the enthusiasm.

Sundowns – also called the Brazilians for their club colours – won this year’s Absa Premiership league for the first time in the seven years and hosted the parade yesterday to celebrate.

“It’s the first time our kids (Sundowns) bring the cup home. We are proud of them for flying Pretoria’s flag high,” said Peggy Basaya, a cleaner at Nellmapius Secondary School.

The primary school’s pupils were in high spirits before the parade, running to the sides of the street in anticipation, singing and dancing as they waited.

Sundowns gave T-shirts to pupils in the school’s netball and football teams, but the pupils from both schools got an opportunity to watch the parade.

Led by metro police officers on motorbikes, the bus made its way down the street. Players waved and held the trophy over the side of the bus.

Grade three teacher Louise Phakula said she was extremely “happy and proud” to be a Sundowns supporter and could not wait to see Teko Modise. Modise came up as a crowd favourite. Fifteen-year-old Mpho Modiba said: “I wish I could marry him. Did you see how good he looked on that bus?”

With over 50 places on the parade route, the team could not stop to interact with fans, leading to many running after the bus once it had passed them by.

Mosebo Sethoga found this regrettable: “I wish they had stopped. My kids were so excited and wanted to meet them.”

The only stops the parade bus made were at the Tshwane University of Technology and the last stop, Sammy Marks Square, where the championship trophy was handed over to the executive mayor of Tshwane, Kgoosientso Ramokgopa.

Diski 101: a mission to civilise

TIMELINES on twitter are clogged up by constant sports updates on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The most tiresome of the bunch are the football ones, random tweets with things like “foul ref!”, “4-3-3” and “what a cross”.

Maybe a little understanding of the so-called beautiful game would lead to less annoyance come kick-off time. I decided to find out what the basics are, so that I too can get angry when people are offside and tweet about it.

Along with this I am on a mission, like Will McAvoy, to civilise, to reform the poor spectator abilities of those of us who watch for ‘hunks of the week’ instead of ‘sportsmen of the week’.

Soccer versus football

Firstly there is a whole debate about whether to call it soccer or football, football or soccer.

“It’s fashionable to be angry and indignant at people who call it soccer instead of football, it’s f***ing bullshit” said one dreadlocked enthusiast.

He went on to explain that people have become obsessed with calling it football as a way to defy the Americans. They call it soccer so as not to be confused with their American football, also known as fake rugby.

“Just because European football is considered better, now all of a sudden we want to change what we’ve been calling the game for years, it’s soccer man!” said someone in the newsroom.

Good on those who choose to colour outside of the lines drawn by those in the land of the free, but let’s just stick to local lingo and go for diski.

I went around asking semi-keen people what they were unsure about or wanted clarity on when it came to diski. The responses included “what the hell is offside”, “are the soccer players single?” and “what do those numbers like 3-5-2 stand for”.

Offside rule

The offside rule is actually quite an easy one to wrap your head around and once you do, the game starts making sense.

The FIFA rule book says “It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent”.

Student and avid football lover Brendan Zietsman said to imagine this scenario:

“You are at a club and you see a girl/guy you like. Another person has seen the girl/guy too and they have a drink in their hand for that person. Your friend slides you a drink across the bar to give to the girl/guy. It would be wrong of you to step in front of the other person before their drink has left their hand. That is offside”. Simple.

4-3-3: Formations in football or soccer (whatever you call it) are used to ensure flexible play but given the fluidity of the game they can become redundant. Graphic: Provided
4-3-3: Formations in football or soccer (whatever you call it) are used to ensure flexible play but given the fluidity of the game they can become redundant. Graphic: Provided

 Hotties on the pitch

The second response points to the question on many minds when they watch 22 men running around after a patent leather ball. I will admit that I am one of those people.

When the teams line up I watch out for a hottie to keep my eyes on for the 90 minutes that will follow. Every team has that one player who captivates the imaginations of those of us who aren’t ‘fans’.

Formations

3-5-2, 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 are “those numbers” which indicate a team’s planned formation for the game. Formations are used to strategically place players across the field, to enable them to attack and defend in the best ways possible.

Now to watch a match to see if I scream “offside” at the television with confidence.

Big five in the posts

Keegan Boulle, Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided
Keegan Boulle, Tuks reserve, scores the fourth goal in their game against UCT on Monday. Photo: Provided

A RESOUNDING defeat on Monday night took away any hopes the University of Cape Town (UCT) team had of moving up from the bottom of the Varsity Football log.

Goal after goal, it became obvious that the University of Pretoria (Tuks) players were not going to let the UCT team squeeze in one redeeming goal for themselves.

The team from the coast were at a slight disadvantage as Tuks played on their home ground, the Ama Tuks Stadium, with their fans cheering them on every step of the way.

UCT goalkeeper Bevan Adonis showed some promise in the fifth minute of the game with an impressive diving save. The opening goal by Tuks’s Desmond Khuzwayo was the catalyst that kept Adonis diving and sliding in the goalposts.

Man of the match Dean Wilkinson then scored a clean shot on goal, which made it obvious that Tuks were out to win.

Mbongeni Masilela put his boot in with a third goal.

Keegan Boulle, a reserve put on late in the game, added two more goals to Tuks’s tally. By the 90th minute the outwitted UCT team had watched five flashes of fire go off, signalling five goals at their goalposts.

Back home

More disappointment took place on the field closer to home at Milpark Stadium. Wits were beaten by the visiting team from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The 2-0 victory pushed the Wits team down to seventh spot on the log after the gains they had made last week with their 1-0 win over UCT.