Despite being knocked out in the semi-final of the Wynberg St John’s under-10 tournament, at the weekend, the Beacon Spurs youngsters can walk with their heads held high after winning three trophies at the Mitchell’s Plain Local Football Association (LFA) awards, last week.
Like the star-studded Manchester United English side who’s led by the “Special One”, Jose Mourinho – Beacon Spurs has their very own Special One in Shahiem “Mookie” Mookadam and his star team.
Last season Mookadam guided Spurs’ under-8 team to the first round league, overall league and knockout titles – and won the same titles with the under-10 team this season.
Mookadam’s side hovered at the top of the league table for the most part of the season and gained a reputation as the team to beat.
However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for his Spurs side with rivals, Morgenster United, making waves at every turn.
“I was with the under-8 team for the past three seasons so this was my first year with the under-10 team. Our junior chairman, Dawood King, has always guided me from when I was a junior, and now that I’m coaching, he’s been mentoring me and preparing me for big games,” said Mookadam.
“Morgenster has been our biggest rival this season. It’s always difficult to get a result against them because they are a top team with a top coach.
“We’ve had a close battle against Morgenster since last season and the scores would always be tight with a one goal difference, or we’d go into penalties. We beat them in the league and in the knockout final; and they kicked us out of the Wynberg St John’s tournament,” he said.
At the weekend, Spurs and Morgenster played to a goalless draw in the semi-final of the Wynberg St John’s junior tournament – and the Morgie boys went through to the final on penalties.
Mookadam said it was their club’s first year back at the tournament after 10 years, and that the boys gave a good account of themselves.
“You can never predict who will win when we face Morgenster and penalties can go either way.
“We finished top in our group. We drew our first two games and beat Woodlands to progress through to the last-16 of the winners section. We beat Milano 1-0 in the last-16 and won Southampton 1-0 in the quarters,” he said.
Mookadam also credits his team’s success to his assistant coach Ronald Sauls who help maintain stability in the team and kept the players motivated.
His Spurs side was also in the final of the Divisional Cup and made it to the semi-final of the under-10 LFA tournament, which they lost to Bayhill United and Morgenster respectively.
“We won the first round leaguue title and lost the second round to Strandfontein FC. The second round was really tough because we were considered the top team and all the other teams were hunting us down,” said Mookadam.
“Denovian Davids had a great season and won the under-10 LFA player of the year award. And, Fawaas O’Malley who’s only eight years old played in the under-11 Golden United Tournament and won the young player of the tournament award.
“The league title was decided on the last game of the season and we needed just one point to win it. And, we got it when we drew 0-0 against FC Tafelsuchgt,” he said.
For the rest of the club, Beacon Spurs under-12 team won the second round league title and lost in the final of the knockout cup to Milano United on penalties.
Their under-16s made it to the knockout semi-final and their men’s first division and champions league sides featured in the knockout cup finals.
Their champions league side also made it to the semi-final of the Coke Cup where they lost 3-2 against eventual winners, Young Pirates.
With the season already wrapped up, Mookadam looks to give it one more shot at another piece of silverware when they compete in the YMO St Lukes junior tournament which starts on Friday October 14 to Saturday October 15.
“More than half of our team will remain under-10 next season so I’m confident that we will retain our league and knockout titles.
And, we’ll go stronger into the St John’s tournament next year,” said Mookadam.
“I would like to stick with this crop of players and take them to the Premier when their time comes.
“These players have been with me since they were six years old. It will be difficult to hold onto all my players because they are a talented bunch,” he said.