On Tuesday night 19th November, the SAFA Cape Town Youth Awards was held at the Mayoral Suite in the Civic Centre.
The evening was dedicated to acknowledging and recognizing the achievements by youth players on the field. Girls and boys from U15 and U17 teams were acknowledged for doing well in the regional and provincial teams.
To kick off the evening were two speakers, Leigh Brophy and Hans Vonk, who offered motivation to the youth players in attendance.
Leigh Brophy is our U17 national goalkeeper who relayed her story and her continuing journey in football thus far. Her talk was inspiring to say the least and her delivery was on point. Her main advice to the youth was to maintain a balance between football, school, and God.
Leigh’s football journey started with a club called Roma FC in the Regional Womens League (RWL). In 2017 at the age of 15 she was scouted by UCT who she still currently plays for. The regional and provincial trials were quickly endured and she soon became part of the national setup.
- Her dream to represent her country was always the goal and gradually extended to playing outside of the country. Leigh gives much credit to Coach Mark Kapman who inspired and motivated her to achieve all that she has while her role models since the start of her playing career have been her two older brothers who she still learns from. Brophy is speedily recovering from a knee injury while she is completing her Matric and looks forward to getting back into action to claim the No.1 jersey for the National side; we wish her all the luck for the rest of her football journey.
Hans Vonk, former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and current Head of Youth at Ajax Cape Town delivered his short and direct message to all in attendance. Vonk stressed the importance of having a structured setup with quality coaches to drive the development of youth football.
He shared his football journey and how Foppe De Haan, the renowned Dutch coach, positively influenced youth football at the club.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Councillor Anthony Moses and he touched on various key points including the importance of sport in our communities. With mentioning the remembrance of those who have fallen during the season through either violent acts or injury on the field, he stressed the value of respect for one another when taking part in a contact sport.
The importance of planning and improving facilities was also raised and he informed the audience that is the priority of the city. The councillor also noted the enhancement of the relationship between the city and SAFA CT and the importance thereof for ensuring the development of youth in sport.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Female and Male Youth Player of the year.
Tiyana Carollisen (female) and Toguer Claasen (male) were awarded the prestigious titles last night and we had a quick sit down with the two winners.
Carollisen was clearly shocked that she received the award but nevertheless felt it was deserved after all the sacrifices she together with her family had made in her football career.
Claasen was unable to hide his joy as he sat with the awarded trophy. The young Silver Spurs player was happy that he could assist his team by scoring goals when needed and is hoping for a bright future in the game.
For Tiyana her immediate focus is finishing her exams and then prepares for the playoffs with her club team, Vasco Da Gama and voices her encouragement to the youth to just keep trying until it happens for them.
Toguer shares her encouragement but also adds that youth get involved with clubs, keep training and play as much as they can.