Tramway FC’s under-16 squad can afford to give themselves a pat on the back despite going down 2-1 against Cape Town Spurs in a Kapstadt Cup semi-final, played at Green Point, at the weekend.
Established in 1923, the Southfield-based club fielded two squads in the competition hosted by FC Kapstadt and played at three venues, Athlone Stadium, Hartleyvale and Green Point.
Finishing third overall behind second-place Cape Town Spurs and eventual winners Stellenbosch FC, coach Nasief van der Schyff’s side got off to a shaky start in their opening match against Spurs in the competition’s group stage, going down 5-2 despite being 2-0 up at half time. The side bounced back with a 1-0 victory against favourites and eventual winners Stellenbosch FC with a 1-0 victory, played to a 1-all draw against Mamelodi Sundowns and beat Milano United 2-1 to secure their spot in the semi-finals.
“In total, we played seven tough games in the group stages over a two-and-a-half day period, which had a massive physical impact on our players. By the time we reached the semi-finals, the players were physically and mentally exhausted,” said Van der Schyff, who has been involved in the junior division at Tramway FC since 2009.
Over the years he has played many roles within the club, including being the junior chairman and vice-chairman on several occasions and is currently the director of youth coaching at Tramway FC. In 2019, the club was awarded the junior club of the year award in the Cape Town Tygerberg LFA.
“I have consistently worked with this group since they were under-7 and followed the team through the different age groups. Over the years, players have joined us and others have moved on to other clubs. We have the benefit of having worked with our players for a long time and have a deep and established relationship with the players and their families.”
Despite limited game time and training opportunities due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the club did remarkably well this year. “We won all our games and went unbeaten in the under-16 Cape Town Tygerberg LFA league. This league included clubs such as Cape Town Spurs, Hellenic, FC Kapstadt, JMI and Hanover Park. So, we did well in our league and brought this confidence into the tournament,” Van der Schyff said.