Gavin Haners’ single goal against Wynberg St Johns secured Crystal Palace a place in next season’s Safa Western Cape regional third division.
The side from Manenberg was unbeaten throughout the Safa Cape Town regional third division playoffs over the past two weekends. They finished on top of Group B, with two wins against Lion City and Goal Hunters, and a draw against Hustlaz FC.
This past weekend, they stunned an unbeaten FC Cafda on penalties to secure a place in the finals against Wynberg St Johns.
Head coach at Crystal Palace, Goodwin Lewis has won the promotional playoffs for the second time now. The club has won it for the third time.
“The chairperson, Agmat Williams and I started this way before the league began in Manenberg this season. The plan was to win the league and to win the playoffs. We also wanted to win the Coke Cup but we went out on penalties in the last 64.
“We spoke about this and said we must look after the boys. When I say look after the boys we don’t pay them but where we can assist we do assist even if it’s with some money for their personal needs. Sometimes when you want the prize you need to have players that come in with a different perspective. The Manenberg LFA and the clubs from the area have also been supportive by coming to watch us throughout the playoffs,” said Lewis.
Coach Lewis said Manenberg is painted in a way that depicts their social ills, however, sport connects the community.
“We as Manenberg have been labelled as gangsters, crime and drug-ridden. You cannot single out any place in South Africa that doesn’t have that. It’s just how it is covered. There are a lot of children we can get from the streets. There is nothing to do so they come and join. When we came back to Manenberg (from the playoffs) everybody was waiting for us. People were waving and greeting,” he said.
Lewis said in the next two seasons they plan on gaining promotion to the ABC Motsepe League.
“I am passionate about Manenberg. I grew up in Manenberg. When my family came here I was three months old and now I am 55 years old. I would like the community to support us in the next season. We cannot do it without them. They must go to the shops and buy a camping chair and come out every Saturday. They will not be disappointed. As for the boys, I motivate them every time. They must stay humble, work hard and respect the next person,” he said.