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Birds under-19's gain great experience
Moroka Swallows' Head Development Coach Paul Habib reports back on the recent Bay Hill (Metropolitan Cup) in Cape Town which the Bird's Under-19 team competed in.

On the 07 April 2004, the under 19s Development Team departed from JHB Airport at 07h20. The team arrived in Cape Town at 11h25. Three combis transported the team to the Hotel (Holiday Inns Eastern Boulevard) to drop off luggage as the rooms were not ready.

The team then proceeded to the tournament opening ceremony which was held in a hall in Cape Town CBD. The ceremony was tremendous and the entertainment, meals and beverages were enjoyed by the team.

After the ceremony we returned to the hotel to finalise our accommodation. The hotel was superb and the views and service was excellent.

On the 08 April 2004, the team proceeded to the town of Belhar, were the tournament was being held. Our team played their first game against Cultural Roots. The result - a loss (2 - 0). It was the teams first tournament, and the standard was higher than what was expected.

The loss, however, was regarded as a learning curve and more serious attitude was adopted thereafter.

On the 09 April 2004, our team played their second game against an international team from New Zealand. The result - we won (4 - 0). The team had a great game, whereby they totally outclassed their opposition.

On the 10 April 2004, our team played their third game against the local team Belhair Spurs. The results - we won (6 - 1).

Our striker, Greg Mulamba scored a hat-trick and on that performance was invited by the first team to train with them during the 2004/2005 soccer season.

A distinction well earned and bouquets of good luck were attributed to this player. The team was in high spirits after finishing second in the group, on the log, after playing the first 3 games.

This resulted in Moroka Swallows having to play Ajax Cape Town (the favourites to win the tournament) to reach the quarter finals. The result - we lost ( 1 - 0). Despite this result the team played an excellent game were unlucky not to achieve a positive result from this game.

Ajax Cape Town eventually, won the Bay Hill Tournament. The fact that our team only went down 1 - 0, to the overall winners, proved that their performance, was held in good stead.

The standards set for the Bay Hill Tournament can be compared with International standards. Security was excellent and the level of football was of the highest level. Thousands of spectators turned up daily and this was encouraging for the game of football as a whole.

This was a very good experience for the Moroka Swallows Development team and much was learnt by the players, coach and management.

To the team returned to Johannesburg on 13 April 2004.

As Head Development Coach. I would like to place on record my thanks and appreciate to the Senior Management of Moroka Swallows, for giving the team the opportunity, to gain such wonderful exposure and experience, from this tournament.

We feel that the teams were given first class treatment from start to finish. This is highly acknowledged by the entire team.

Paul Habib - Moroka Swallows Head Development Coach


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