Bonteheuwel United AFC is alive and kicking again, and the soccer team is ready to score.
The 48-year-old club has been revived by some of its former members and players who want to recreate a winning spirit among Bonteheuwel laaities.
Bonteheuwel United was first established in 1968 but in the 90s was merged with Vernals, Sunderland and Sporting United.
Former Santos player Randal Arendse, 43, was one of the many youngsters who were part of the club back in the day.
“Two years ago the talks started about [reopening] the club and we were officially re-established on 31 January this year,” he says.
Along with past club members like Franklin Manuel, 69, Ruben Brown, 61, and a few others, Randal got the club off the ground.
The licensed coach now uses his experience to train the kids and teach them soccer skills every Monday and Wednesday.
Mom Veronica Moses, 39, from Manenberg, has two sons in the club, and she trains the youngest group of players.
“Ek sal net like hulle moet vorentoe gaan, een van die kinders is die next David Beckham,” she predicts.
There are 36 junior players at the club, and Randal says they have a big responsibility mentoring them: “It’s 36 young lives we are working with.”
With a shoestring budget, and while they still look for sponsors, the board has managed to get a bus to transport the kids from Bonteheuwel to the training ground in Epping.
Little Jordan Michaels, 11, who plays rightback. says: “I’ve learnt a lot here and it keeps me from doing wrong stuff.”
At the end of the training session, Ruben hands out a marshmallow, continuing a tradition from the old days.
Randal says: “There are many people who were part of this club and we need donations and support from the community to make this a success.”