The ever-improving Geluksdal Masters are well into their preparations for this year’s edition of the Tsamaya Masters Social Football League, which is played by the older generation of players who are 35 years and above – affectionately known as the masters – the majority of which are from around KwaTsaDuza.
Geluksdal, who were the third-best team in the league last season, have their sights set on improving their position yet again this season, which will be their fifth since joining in 2015, and are indeed going for the jugular. Their coach, Jacob ‘Slow’ Smith, says they are aiming for all the trophies on offer. “We wanna kill everything, that’s what we spoke last week about; like last year, we slipped (from) position number one, actually, so the guys are actually looking forward maybe we can keep the number one [sic].”
Slow indeed has good reason to be confident, considering the great strides his team has made in the previous four seasons. He explains that, “the first one we came in we finished no. 10 (on the log), the second one we came in no. 6, the third one we came in no. 4, and now, (last season) no. 3; so you can see there’s some progress in the performance in the league.”
The team’s top-three finish last season means they qualify, for the fourth straight season, for the season-opening Top 8 Super Cup, which they go into as the defending champions. They begin their title defence against World XI, who finished sixth on the log in the 2018 season. Smith says that still doesn’t give them the idea that it will be smooth sailing to the semi-finals: “They might be behind me (on last season’s log) but they are a very good team, very organized. They’ve actually done very well from where they were the previous season and compared to last season, so I don’t undermine them at all.”
Smith adds that their first round opponents actually go into the two-legged tie with the upper hand, given the pre-season preparations they had in the form of December holiday tournaments, which Geluksdal did not participate in. “They’ve been playing tournaments comparing to us not playing, so they might give us a run for our money and surprise us.”
The two teams were scheduled to play their first leg match at the Tlakula High School Ground in Kwa-Thema on Sunday. The date and venue for the second leg was, at the time of writing, not yet confirmed.
Meanwhile, the league is still calling on interested Masters teams to register to play in the 2019 season. Their official statement, released on Facebook, reads:
“PLAY-OFFS ARE BACK!
Good day Masters and Legends!
If you want your team to partake in our league, just inbox us as we’ve got few spaces left or Call/WhatsApp this number.
Remember, there’ll be a mini league Play-Offs for all those new teams before they be taken…
The age groups: 35 upwards (84) & 30-34 only 4 players will be allowed on the field of play (89-85)
HURRY UP, WALALA WASALA!!!”
Their Facebook page is ‘Tsamaya Masters Social Football League’.