Maties Football Club saw their hopes of glory against Battalions FC on Saturday 5th March, who are fifth on the ABC Motsepe league standings ended with a hard fought draw, the final score was 3-3 on the day.
Performances on the field have been difficult this season, with the club facing a huge challenge to persevere and adjust to the new environment that is the ABC Motsepe League. Maties FC made their debut at the league late last year in November, the team managed to score an outstanding six goals against Barcelona FC to their one goal.
“Some of the players felt that they don’t belong with their peers, the results weren’t good, but our performances slowly but surely started to give the players the confidence to compete against our opponent,” says Head Coach Crowie.
However, Crowie remains optimistic and encourages the team to celebrate each win, when the team gained their first point against Cape Town Hotspurs FC which had 6-ex professional players on their squad this gave them extra confidence to strike against the experienced team.
When asked what the team’s most positive moments in the past week/month/year were, Coach Crowie went on to say: “Losing against the 2020/21 ABC Motsepe League Champions in the Nedbank Cup 1st Round was a blessing. I’m a firm believer in learning in adversity. We were convincingly beaten 4-1, from that game onwards I could see the intensity in training increasing.”
It has been made clear that the team turns their losses into a learning experience, student-athletes having to balance in a high performance sporting code and academics can be challenging and may seem overwhelming at times, but they continue to do their best on the field, at training sessions, and in the classroom.
The Memorandum of Understanding between Maties FC and Stellenbosch FC commenced in 2021, and the MOU allows the two football clubs to collaborate to develop quality footballers in Stellenbosch and the greater Winelands community. Coach Crowie says Stellenbosch FC has assisted with recruiting a few local players that have added great strength to the team.
“Our top striker from the SAB League was approach by a few teams and SFC recruited him to train with their DDC and PSL team. That initiative assisted us to retain his services, he is currently one of the top goal scorers in the league with seven goals.”
Crowie says building a culture of inclusivity in the football club specifically in the Winelands area is a top priority for him as a coach, his goal is to nurture the local talent and push them to a higher standard. This will allow athletes more opportunities and experiences on a larger scale than what they’ve been used to previously.
Although the league has been challenging, Maties FC is focusing on making improvements game by game. “The process is more important than the result,” concludes Coach Crowie.
Maties FC will face Battalions FC on Sunday 13 March 2022 15:00, at Rooikrans Sports Complex.
Article by Jamie Wyngaardt