Soccer clubs from all levels of the game – in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) or the grassroots level at the Cape District Football Association (CDFA) – are always looking to get experienced coaches to take charge of their teams.
And, while experience goes a long way, getting the team to gel and play well is the tricky part.
For Parkwood-based club, Southampton FC, they’ve found a gem in Farouk Majiet, who’s been with the club for over 40 years.
Majiet has won over 20 league titles with Southampton’s under-10 team during his tenure. This season, again, he ensured the under-10 ballers made the right moves on the field as they went on to win the double – the league title and Knockout Cup.
At the Knockout Finals, last month, Southampton faced a menacing Noordhoek FC side and were forced to get the victory during extra time.
“The final against Noordhoek was a great challenge for the boys because Noordhoek really came out hungry on the day,” said Majiet.
“They were leading us 1-0 at half-time and we pulled one back to take the game into extra-time. It looked like the game was heading for a penalty shootout, but Jaden Peters got the winner for us from a free-kick,” he said.
His side competed in the under-10 red division, and Majiet said they lost only one game for the season, against Salt River Blackpool.
As if winning the double wasn’t enough, they made a clean sweep by also clinching the Grand Challenge first round trophy as well.
The streetsmart boys from Parkwood also tested their skills at both the Wynberg St John’s and YMO St Lukes junior tournaments.
They finished runners-up at the YMO tourney and ended their run at the Wynberg tourney in the quarter-final.
“We beat Spenston FC 1-0 in our opening match at the Wynberg tournament. We then beat the host club 3-0 and drew with Westridge FC to finish second in our group,” said Majiet.
“We beat Meadowridge 1-0 in the Last Round of 16 before Beacon Spurs knockout us out with a 1-0 defeat.
“We were hoping to get one over Spurs when we faced them again in the final at the YMO tournament. But, they edged us 2-1,” he said.
Majiet’s work at the YMO tournament did not go unnoticed and he was awarded the manager of the tournament.
For the rest of the club, their under-8 and under-12 teams won their division at the YMO tourney; and, the under-16 and under-18 sides made it to the semi-final of their respective Knockout Cups.
Next year, Southampton will celebrate their 50th anniversary and Majiet said they are already preparing for a big season. “I’ll be moving up to the under-12 division next season. I’ve always been the under-10 coach, but I’m looking to stay with the team as they grow up,” said Majiet.
“Giovani Rector, a former Southampton FC player who also had a stint with Excelsior Mouscron in Belgium, will take charge of our Super League side next year. He came in to help the team half way through the season to prevent them from being relegated, and we finished ninth,” he said.