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Birds' Malevu hails team effort in winning tourney

By unknown | Jul 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Nathi Malevu, Mighty Birds' golden striker, has attributed their winning the Maimane Alfred Phiri Soccer Tournament to team effort.

Birds were crowned the 2007 champions after beating Dolphins from Diepsloot 2-0 at Alexandra sports grounds on Sunday.

Malevu, who has been outstanding since the start of the yearly 32-club tournament two weeks ago, scored the two goals.

Birds, who also had former Moroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates and Bush Bucks midfielder Sibusiso Mazibuko, pocketed R25000 for their efforts.

Dolphins, affectionately known as "Ba Limpopo", received R15 000. It was the second year in a row that they were losing finalists .

"We came here knowing our intentions of winning the tournament were clear. We had throughly prepared ourselves for it. We played as a team," said Malevu.

"I must confess that it was not easy because the other clubs had assembled some pretty good players. We are coming back next year to defend our title."

Malevu also grabbed two major individual awards - the player of the tournament and top goalscorer (seven goals) - in the competition.

Jabu Ngwenya, a former professional soccer player now coaching Birds, said: "I'm proud of the boys and we applaud Maimane Phiri for coming up with this tournament.

"Most of the boys in the team are from Newcastle. We are developing them but the problem is that we do not have a sponsorship.

"We are playing challenge matches because of a lack of funds. We need financial help," said Ngwenya, who has also played for African Wanderers and Jomo Cosmos.

Isaac "Shakes" Kungoane, a development coach, said: "What Maimane has done is great. There was talent galore on display."

Phiri said: "It was a great tournament.

"We would like to thank all the people who contributed to the success of the event."

Meanwhile, Mazibuko is hoping to clinch a deal with Bidvest Wits.


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