The Madibaz confirmed themselves as a dominant force in Nelson Mandela Bay football when they took top honours at the Port Elizabeth Football Association (Pefa) awards earlier this week.
The Madibaz premier side successfully defended their Pefa league crown, while the premier reserve team took home the title in their division for a third consecutive year.
Madibaz football manager Mark Tommy said football was one of NMMU’s six priority sporting codes.
“By consistently achieving excellence like this, we are making a valuable contribution to the development of young football talent in Nelson Mandela Bay and the broader Eastern Cape.”
The Pefa awards capped off a stellar season for the university’s premier side that also saw them win the Safa Nelson Mandela Bay regional league playoffs and earn promotion to a higher division.
They played in two cup finals – the Pefa Premier Knock-Out Cup and Safa Mayoral Cup – unfortunately losing both matches to old rivals PE Caledonians via penalty shoot-outs.
“Madibaz Football provides a platform for young footballers to pursue their sporting aspirations without sacrificing academics. We strive to provide a professional football experience parallel to academic excellence,” said Tommy.
“Look at a student like Cloudius Sagandira for example. He is studying towards his masters degree in chemistry, won Madibaz Football Sportsman of the Year, and is already on some professional clubs’ radar.”
As the Safa Nelson Mandela Bay regional league adjourns for its December break, the Madibaz premier side still top the standings and all their players have received training programmes to prepare for their return to the field on January 8.
Looking further ahead into next season, Tommy said identifying new talent was crucial and his management team were looking forward to the annual trials in the second week of February.
“During that week aspiring students try out for a spot in one of our three high performance teams.
“Our technical staff are scouring the Nelson Mandela Bay area for grade 12 scholars with potential, and we already have seven scholars on our books that could register at NMMU in 2016.”
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