Greenwood ready to up the ante

Greenwood Athletic chairman Noel Isaacs, first team captain Mark Nefdt and coach Lionel Miller are all smiles.

Greenwood Athletic FC fans are over the moon as their super league side gained promotion to the 2017/2018 Western Cape SAFA regional league.

The Steenberg side won promotion after beating FCG Hotspurs 3-1 in the semi-finals of their SAFA regional league play-offs, at William Herbert sports complex, in Wynberg, earlier this month.

They will be joined by Juventus FC from Greater Phillipi LFA who beat Connoisseur Spurs FC in their semi-finals.

The two winners of the semi-finals automatically qualify for the SAFA regional league.

Coach Lionel Miller and his charges impressed from game one, beating Super Young Stars, Celtic and Westridge, 5-0, 7-1 and 1-0, respectively, to top their group and set up a quarter-final date against Durbanville.

It was raining goals in their quarter-finals clash, as they beat the boys from the north 5-4 on penalties, with the scores 3-all at the break.

Both sides were ahead and then chasing the game at one stage. However, goals by Keenan Williams and Nathan Brown in the second half were enough to see them take the game away from Durbanville.

Miller said their game against Durbanville was one of the strangest matches that he has watched. He was quick to note how impressed he was with his charges’ performances throughout the competition.

“I still feel on top of the world after we gained promotion. The last time we played in this league was 15 years ago.

“The juniors can look forward to something and for the seniors when it is the end of the season they don’t have to look around for clubs.

“Once the regional season starts we will go out there and do our best,” he said.

Ahead of the play-offs, Miller said he knew it was going to be tough to qualify for the regional league because he had watched some of the teams in the Coke Cup, which was won by Young Pirates, earlier this year.

“When the groups came out I kept on doing my homework on each club but it was tough because there were certain teams that I have never even heard of. All I said to my players was to win our first game and take it from there,” he said.

Greenwood made the SAFA regional league play-offs after being crowned the super league champions of the Cape District Football Association.

They won 23, lost one and played to two draws, scoring 82 goals and conceding only 22. What was more impressive was that they won the league with six games remaining.

Miller said this was one of his best seasons as a coach.

“Winning the league was something special after we were eliminated from the Coke Cup in the last round of 32 and semi-finals in the league knockouts,” said Miller, who believes one of the highlights was beating Grassy Park United 4-0, at Solo Street sports complex, in Steenberg, earlier this year.

“We dominated them from start to finish and they played with most of their players who play in the ABC Motsepe League,” he said.

Chairman Noel Isaacs said he is happy with the way his first team played and is excited for what the future holds.

“The first thing we, as management, did was to look for a coach in the club ahead of the season and our selection in Lionel paid off. All the glory goes to the coaches and players for the effort that they have put in. It is something that we have been working on for the past three years. We have been in the Cape District for the past nine years and won the league five times,” he said.

Captain Mark Nefdt said credit should go to the coaches and executive committee who played an important role in his side doing well.

“They played a crucial role on and off the field. It feels great to win promotion because it was a long time coming. This was a dream of mine when playing as a junior for the club,” he said.