Young 'Birds' shine in Mayor's Cup
The Mayor's Cup soccer tournament - played in honour of Moroka Swallows captain Goodman Mazibuko - took place for the second time in the municipal area of Warden in the Free State Province on Sunday.
Warden is the town where Mazibuko was born and Swallows were asked to compete in the tournament on invitation from the His Worship, the Mayor Thabo Mofutsanyane.
But with the Absa Premiership in recess over the festive season, most senior players could not make the trip to the Free State, so the Under-19/Reserves represented the 'Birds' instead.
The Mayor's Cup was played in the form of the Telkom Charity Cup, with Warriors, Sweet Harmony and Mafube FC joining Swallows in the four-team tournament.
The 'Birds' narrowly lost their opening fixture 1-2 to Mafube, but went on to thrash Harmony 4-1 in the third-place play-off, where Swallows first-team anchors Mazibuko and Lefa Tsutsulupa played.
Warriors were the eventual winners; beating Harmony 5-2 in their opening match, before stopping Mafube 2-1 in the final.
Mazibuko told morokaswallows.co.za that the standard of the tournament had improved somewhat since the inaugural year.
"There were some supporters from Swallows who were here to support the team," enthused the popular 'Birds' captain.
"There were some players from the First Division who played, and Lefa and I also played, so it was a tense competition."
He added: "I think the tournament is a good stepping stone for these youngsters to compete against some professional players. It is the only way that they can get the necessary experience.
"I'm proud to have been part of the tournament again and I hope that we can raise the standard again next year."