By: MATTHEW JENNINGS
The oldest Football Club in the Makana LFA, the Eleven Attackers FC has had a long and storied history the the Grahamstown soccer scene. Now, they are looking to empower the youth in and around Grahamstown through soccer.
The Club Manager, Vikie Platyi, and Club Secretary, Afika Adam, compared their clubs history with that of Liverpool FC in England, in that it is long, passionate, and full of ups and downs.
Established in 1975, Eleven Attackers has had their fair share of rivalries around town and throughout the Eastern Cape. The team play in the local Makana LFA around Grahamstown but also throughout the SAB Regional league.
The Attackers’ name derives from their intent to play tactical attacking football. In addition, the club looks to empower the youth with a boost of self-esteem and confidence to keep on doing good work. The players are also all encouraged to follow through with their education as opposed to pursuing professional careers, both to guide the players in the right manner and to best serve them for the future.
The current team started up in 2012. They were Juniors at the time and were set for the first team in the coming years, but won the Grahamstown League in 2014. This propelled the team into the SAB League, before winning the League again in 2016.
“We have to look into the future all the time…We win, we lose, but there will come a time when we will win all of our games” said Adam.
The upcoming tournament, hosted and organised by the Eleven Attackers on 9 June at the JD Dlepu Stadium, is themed “Legendary Club celebrates Youth Month”. It is intended to revive football around the community and to become “a beacon of hope for the Youth in general” in the Football community around the town, according to Adam.
The team has three teams, namely an U13, U15 and first team squad. Come the end of Saturday’s action packed day, awards and prizes will be given out to the players who participated and did particularly well in the games throughout, to encourage, motivate and inspire the young players and future stars for the club. The finals of the tournament are expected to be held on 23 June.
Football is not seen as a top sport around the town, but the club’s work to help the squad persevere and push on is encouraging. The tournament intends to create “a conducive and vibrant environment for young people,” said Adam.
Saturday promises to bring good football and an atmosphere where team spirit above all will be encouraged. Much hope is going to come from this tournament and this sets up an onward and upward turn for football and all involved in the sport that unites the community.