“Football is not for the faint hearted,” said the Senior Men’s National Team head coach, Dominic Kunene during the post-match interview at the Mbombela Stadium. The head coach was reacting on the loss of Eswatini in the expense of Cape Verde which was a TototalEnergies AFCOIN Qualifier match. Eswatini created numerous scoring opportunities which included a penalty but failed to find the back of the net. This result has dented the chances of the national team in as far as the qualification for the TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 Final is concerned.
The head coach also lamented this loss to the tactical discipline and professionalism of the Cape Verde players which also forced him to approach this match in a defensive mode and catching them on counter attacks. “The Cape Verde players are tactically good and very professional thus the decision to delay the full-backs in going forward and catching the on counter attacks. The is no way you can play an open game against a category A national team”, Kunene said.
Sihlangu is on the third position in Group B with 2 points and is yet to play against Togo (home match) and Burkina Faso (Away match).
After getting a point in Cape Verde on Friday, the Senior Men National Team is aiming for maximum points against the Blue Sharks as the Cape Verde National Team is affectionately known. This will not be an easy match for Sihlangu as per the head coach Dominic Kunene. “It won’t be an easy match based on what I saw in Cape Verde thus we were happy with the valuable point that we got in Cape Verde”, Kunene said. As per the head coach, Cape Verde is a difficult team to play against as they can posses the ball very well.
When queried about his approach in as far as the second leg clash to be played on Tuesday afternoon, he emphasised about the importance of protecting his goal first before being offensive. “We have to protect our goal first before thinking about being offensive”, Kunene said. He also highlighted that, they will try to create some chances to score.
His words were echoed by the national team captain, Lindo Mkhonta. The skipper who missed the first leg due to suspension but watched the match on television, also observed that Cape Verde is an experienced and good team thus being difficult opponents. “They are experienced and very good thus being difficult opponents. It is important to protect our goal post first before being offensive,” Mkhonta said. He acknowledged the efforts of his teammates during the first leg. “I must acknowledge the efforts of my teammates in as far as the first leg was concerned as getting a point away from home is not an easy task,” the skipper said. The skipper also highlighted the importance of the second leg match against Cape Verde to be played at the Mbombela Stadium. “It is an important match for us because getting a good result will increase our chances of qualifying for the finals of this competition,” Mkhonta said. He believes that they have a chance of getting maximum points in as far as this fixture is concerned.
The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach Dominic Kunene will miss the service of the national team captain Lindo Mkhonta and utility player Kwakhe Thwala as both players are suspended for Friday’s match in the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifiers 2023. Both players are not part of the twenty players who travelled to Cape Verde for the match to be playerd on Friday, 24th March 2023 at the Cidade da Praia-Santiago/Estadio Nacional “Blue Shark”Cabo Verde. The national team captain is suspended due to the red card that he got during match day number two of this competition against Burkina Faso whilst Kwakhe is suspended after he accumulated the second yellow card during the same match. Both players will be available for selection against the same opponents. The travelling players are as follows:
Ncaminso Dlamini (Royal Leopard FC), Sibusiso Dlamini (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC)
Siboniso Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Vusumuzi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Lucky Gamedze (Madlenya FC), Sikhumbuzo Magagula (Royal Leopard FC)
Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Neliswa Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows FC), Leon Manyisa (Mbabane Swallows FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders FC)
Fanelo Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Njabulo Maziya (Young Buffaloes FC), Thubelihle Mavuso (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Green Mamba FC), Philani Mkhonto (Mbabane Highlanders FC).
There is no better investment of time and money than in the life of a child. They are the future. This is the spirit of the Build it U13 Football Programme. The champions of the Build it Pigg’s Peak U13 Championships were confirmed on Saturday after Pigg’s Peak All Stars FC won against Hellenic FC by a solitary goal in the finals of this tournament. After being crowned champions, Piig’s Peak All Stars coach, Thami Shongwe highlighted that the secret behind this achievement are the early preparations for this tournament. “We started our preparations for this tournament very early thus our achievement as a team”, Shongwe said. He also urged other coaches to be patient and encourage the youngsters to put more effort in their game. “I urge other coaches to be patient and encourage the players to put more effort in their game”, Shongwe said.
As an overall implementation of this tournament, The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Executive Committee Member and Chairperson of the Youth Committee Sicelo Nene thanked Build it for sponsoring this tournament and urged the players to put more effort in their education and football in order to enhance their chances of being successful in life. “On behalf of the EFA may I take this opportunity to thank Build it for investing in the future of this country through football and also encourage the participants of this football development programme to put more effort in their education and football in order to enhance their chances of being successful in life,” Nene said.
As a reaction for the successful implementation of this tournament, Build it Pigg’s Peak Managing Director, Khanya Ndlovu acknowledged the EFA for the perfect execution of this tournament and promised that Build it will continue sponsoring this football development programme. “As a sponsor, we would like to thank EFA for the perfect realization of this tournament as it was well coordinated. Build it will continue sponsoring this football development programme as it has a great impact in Eswatini, African and world football at large”, Ndlovu said. As a sponsor, Build it hope that great players will be produced from this football development programme. “We hope to get great players from this football development programme who will end up playing in higher leagues,” Ndlovu said.
The Build it U13 Buhleni championship was won by Bulandzeni Community FC after coming up triumphant in the finals against Mvuma Hotspurs FC by 3-1 on Saturday at Buhlani Sports Ground. A total of sixteen matches were played on the day in nine-aside matches where-by eight teams competed for the championship.
According to Khanya Ndlovu, the Managing Director of Build it Buhleni, they are very much exited on the manner in-which the tournament was executed and as sponsors view this football development programme as a platform that provide the essential exposure to the youngsters. “As an overall, the tournament went very well and such football development programmes are important as they provide the essential exposure for the youngsters. With the Technical Development Scheme in place, we hope the identified from this programme will have a perfect platform to develop even further”, Ndlovu said.
On urging the parents to support the youngsters, Ndlovu encouraged them to give these children maximum support as football can be their career. “Parents must be acknowledged for their efforts of upbringing this youngsters; however, more effort is also needed in terms of supporting these children as they play football. This sport can be their career”, Ndlovu said. He also highlighted that the sport does teach the children that nothing comes for free in life. “Through football, the children can learn that nothing comes for free in life. Hard work, commitment and dedication are the essential ingredients that makes one to be successful in life”, Ndlovu said.
Lwanele Ndzinisa who plays for Bulandzeni Community FC was chosen as the best player of the tournament. He also expressed his excitement about this award and thanked his coach and teammates for his achievement. “I an very happy for being the player of the tournament and I thank my coaches and teammates for this success”, Malindzisa said.
The next Build it U13 Chamipionship will be played at the Killarney Sports Ground in Piggs Peak on Saturday, 18th March 2023.
The Technical bench of the Senior Men National Team (Sihlangu) has added Mbabane Highlanders FC goalkeeper Khanyakwezwe Shabalala in the goalkeeping department of the national team. Sihlangu is preparing for the upcoming TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifiers 2023 against Cape Verde. The national team is currently training on Mondays and Tuesdays and will go to full time camp on Monday, 13th March 2023.
The late NBA Basketball player, Kobe Bryant once said “My parents are my backbone. Still are. They are the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40”. This is true in as far as player development is concerned.
On Saturday, the EFA and Build it perfectly executed the Build it U13 Nhlangano Championship that was won by Holneck FC after playing against Mahlandle. The former won this match by 2-0. When reacting to the splendid football artistry that was displayed by the youngsters on the day, both the EFA and Build it highlighted the importance of parental support in as far as player development is concerned.
“As EFA we acknowledge Build it for her investment towards the development of football in the country and the holistic development of the Eswatini child as football is also a school for life”, said the General Secretary of the EFA Frederick Mngomezulu.
Similar words were also uttered by Build it Nhlangano Human Resource Manager, Gledwill Hillary who also stated the vital role that parents play in as far as the development of the youngsters is concerned. “As Build it, we would like to thank the parents who came to support their children and also urge others to attend these games as their support is key in as far as the development of these youngsters is concerned”, Hillary said.
The next Bild it Championship will be held on Saturday, 11th February 2023 at Buhleni Sports Ground.
The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has launched the Technical Development Scheme (TDS)- Eswatini. This is a project by FIFA that is aimed at creating a sustainable legacy for long term development by maximising each FIFA Member Association’s (MA’s ) opportunities as per the global ecosystem analysis (ESA). The ESA was conducted for 18 months by FIFA and it came out with two findings which are; a clear view of the global imbalance that exists in football, and the great potential of the MA’s talent development programme to tackle this imbalance. As highlighted by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 71st FIFA Congress in May 2021, the TDS will offer a tailor-made concept for each country on how best to operate to give every talent a chance.
During the launch event that took place at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba, FIFA was represented by Serame Letsoaka who is the FIFA Technical Consultant. Also present during this event were the EFA Executive Committee Members and some Executive Committee Members from the EFA Membership to mention but a few. When making his address during this launch, Serame Letsoaka highlighted the importance of implementing football development programmes at grassroots level. “If the foundation is strong enough, everything takes care of itself, because everybody wants to sponsor a good product”, Letsoaka said.
Speaking of behalf of the EFA President was the Lubombo Regional Football Association Chairperson who is also an Executive Committee Member of the EFA, Nichodemus Mashwama who acknowledged the support by FIFA towards football development in the country and for making it possible that this programme is implemented in the country. “As EFA, we would like to acknowledge FIFA for her support towards football development in the country and for the implementation of the TDS in the country. We assure FIFA that this project will be perfectly executed in the country”, Mashwama said.
The TDS- Eswatini will be implemented in six EFA’s centres with the possibility of adding more. These centres are, Mkhuzweni, Lobamba, Manzini, Matsapha, KaLanga and Nhlangano and its theme is “Consolidating football talent”. The participants for this football development programme are U13, U15 and U17 boys and girls. This talent was identified from the other football development programmes that are implemented by the EFA.
Royal Leopard FC U13 team are the champions of the Build it U13 Matsapha Championship. This tournament was well executed at the Qinisweni Primary School on Saturday, 18th February 2023. A total of eight teams competed for the championship. The were two groups of four teams who initially played in a round-robin format then latter played in a knock-out format where the top two team in each log qualified for the semi-finals. The semi-finalists were Young Heroes FC, Junior Eagles FC, Royal leopard FC and Young Buffaloes FC.
In the semi-finals, Young Heroes FC won against Junior Eagles by 2-1 and Royal Leopard FC won against Young Buffaloes by 1-0. These results confirmed the finalist where Royal Leopard FC won against Young Heroes FC by 3-1. In the third-place play -off, Young Buffaloes FC won against Junior Eagles by 2-1.
Present during this championships were the EFA Executive Committee Members, Senior Management of Build it Matsapha and parents of the participating players to mention but a few. When reacting to the successful execution of this event, EFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu thanked the sponsor for supporting this tournament and also thanked the parents for allowing their children to participate in this tournament. “We would like to thank the sponsor, parents and other stakeholders for their different roles towards the successful implementation of this tournament. We also congratulate the champions and the player of the tournament for their achievements”, Mngomezulu said.
Build it Matsapha Manager, Vincent Vilakati expressed the company’s excitement in as far as the implementation of this tournament was concerned. “We are happy to be part of this great initiative and we are certain that we will continue sponsoring the tournament in the upcoming years as this games produces future national team players and promotes the development of football in the country”, Vilakati said. Sindiswa Dube from Royal Leopard FC was the player of the tournament.
The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu) has this Monday, 13th February 2023 commenced the preparations for the back-to-back matches against Cape Verde to be played during the upcoming FIFA International Window that will start from the 20th -28th March 2023. This is the first phase of preparations with the second phase to commence on the 13th March 2023. During this first phase, the national team will train twice a week being Mondays and Tuesdays before implementing the full-time camp which will mark the start of the second phase of the preparations which will end on the 18th March 2023 when the national team is scheduled to depart for Cape Verde. The Head Coach of the national team Dominic Kunene named 25 players to be part of this initial training camp. The players are as follows:
Sibusiso Dlamini (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC), Mlamuli Makhanya (Royal Leopard FC), Mlungisi
Nxumalo (Young Buffaloes FC), Bhekisisa Dlamini (Moneni Pirates FC)
Simanga Masangane (Royal Leopards FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Vusi
Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Gift Gamedze (Madlenya FC), Lucky Gamedze
(Madlenya FC), Mcolisi Manana (Green Mamba FC), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard (FC),
Mkhuleko Magagula (Manzini Sea Birds FC)
Mzwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopard FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Kwakhe Tfwala
(Young Buffaloes FC), Bongiswa Dlamini (Young Buffaloes FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young
Buffaloes FC), Leon Manyisa (Mbabane Swallows FC), Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane
Sabelo Ndzinisa (Green Mamba FC), Thubelihle Mavuso (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC), Bongwa
Matsebula (Young Buffaloes FC), Fanelo Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Philani Mkhontfo
(Mbabane Highlanders FC), Njabulo Maziya (Madlenya FC).