Premiership dream for unfancied Coal City Boys, Passion FC
With the Mpumalanga province crying for a club in the Absa Premiership, two businessmen from Carolina, have taken up the challenge of getting their team into the top flight.
Passion FC was established two years ago after partners Lucas Mudau (an optometrist) and Brendan Tshabangu (an attorney) decided to purchase the status of FC Zone Mavo.
Since the sale of Mpumalanga Black Aces in 2017, the province has not had a club in the Premiership.
"Our aim of having a club in Carolina is to uplift the community and to inspire the youth so that they can have a club of their own," Mudau said. "We want to have kids as young as five starting to play and being part of our system.
"Of course our longer term vision is to achieve promotion to the PSL and represent our province. It would do wonders for the economy and our people at large to be in the highest league in the country."
Plans are afoot to build an academy and have a women's team. These ambitious developments auger well for the dusty, coal-mining town right in the middle of the province
Mudau takes care of the operations of the club as CEO, while Tshabangu, who works in Pretoria, joins the club's business on weekends.
The "Coal City Boys" are professionally run, with a general manager, administrator, marketing officer and team manager.
Captain Bafana Sibeko says Passion FC have ignited the love for football in the town.
"It's very important for the community to have a club like Passion. This club represents the people of the town and province. We hope that we can go higher and higher as a club," he said.