By: CHRIS TOTABELA
As the local football clubs gear up for the third edition of the New year’s cup, a major club has is a notable omission from this year’s preparations. Makhanda will be represented in the 2018 New Year’s Cup by Santos, Newseekers, City Pirates, Grahamstown United, Jacaranda Aces, Sakhulutsha, Mighty Chiefs and Maru. The notable absentee is Eleven Attackers, who command a huge following, especially in Joza where they really made their mark in Makhanda’s football history.
Attackers is one of the most successful sides in Makhanda, making it even more surprising to see them not be a part of the annual festive season tournament for the second year running.
Former team manager, Afika Adam, expressed his disappointment with the current situation. “It is really sad to see a big team like this with such a great history not being able to compete in this tournament,” said Adam. “This is happening for the second year in a row now. To be honest… there are a lot of factors that can be attributed to this. For example the are internal politics that causes us to pull into different directions.”
“I had a very good plan for this club that could have even helped it participate in this tournament but [some of]the elders of the club… did not really approve my plan,” said Adam. “When I requested to see the club’s constitution I was told that it was kept by the board of trustees. I also asked them about who these board of trustees were, but did not get any response.”
Adam expressed how he intended to bring in a new approach to the club, but the elders in the club still maintained an “old-school” approach. “Some of the players are confused by what is happening at the club and some have left already to join other teams.”
Vicky Platyi, who was in charge of the team for the past few seasons, also commented on this matter. “This situation is not good for the club but there is nothing I can do now as I have really had enough after trying for so long to steer this club into the right direction,” said Platyi. “I have been using my own money and vehicle to help this club but it seems as if there are people who did not like what I was doing. I recruited Afika [Adam] to come and help with the administration side of things as I could not do everything on my own and he came and made a big difference.”
“When we requested the club’s constitution we wanted to look at it and try to discuss some of the important issues on it. For example a constitution made in 1975 cannot be really relevant to this day and age. [The] Attackers [club]was formed at the time of the struggle against apartheid, and the logo reflects that, but it does not really make any sense now. Most of the big teams here and abroad have upgraded their logos and that is what we also wanted to do,” said Platyi.
“We had a strategic planning programme recently at Rhodes and invited everyone associated with the club, including founder members, but it was only Mr [Tando] Mtshalala who honoured our invitation,” said Platyi.
“It is very painful for me to leave this great club in such a sad way but I am healing now,” said Adam. “I do not think the club will exist for long. I am busy starting my own new modernised club now and will focus on it.”
“I feel for the players… I love Attackers so much but cannot continue in this situation and have now decided to quit and focus on my family and also spend time on more constructive things. I wish who ever is going to take over all the best,” said Platyi.
The Eleven Attackers were approached for comment by Grocott’s Mail, and have chosen not to comment on the matter at this time.