Masibulele Sukazi is one of Cape Town’s most decorated grassroots football coaches.
Ask any budding footballer about coach “Mbazo” and most will tell you exactly who he is.
This year Sukazi guided Cape Town Spurs’ under-18 side into the Coke Cup quarter-finals. He was also in charge of the Spurs side that took part in the Engen under-18 Knockout Challenge at the weekend.
His charges had a good run in the Coke Cup but couldn’t make it to the last four as they went down 5-3 on penalties against Hellenic following a goalless draw in Dunoon, a fortnight ago.
But, despite bowing out in the last eight, Sukazi should be proud of his charges. After all, they were one of the most clinical sides in this year’s under-18 division. And, as the saying goes, numbers don’t lie.
Sukazi’s side opened their campaign with a convincing 17-0 win against Shining Stars early last month.Sibulele Jack scored four, while Ntsika Thembani and Nicolas Davids scored a hat-trick each. Samkele May, Sherwin Abrahams, Neo Khune, Liyema Mafu and Clyde Combi contributed one each.
That was a dream start for Sukazi and his players. They went on to convincingly win their next three matches in the competition, scoring 15 goals and conceding only three in the process. They looked good.
However, they were stopped in their tracks by fierce rivals Hellenic in this weekend’s quarters. The sides were tied at 0-0 at full time and the dreaded penalties had to decide the winner and Hellenic emerged victorious.
Sukazi, who was born in kuCentane in the Eastern Cape and grew up in kwaLanga in the Western Cape, described the Coke Cup as an important part of Cape Town amateur football.
“It offers many players and coaches a platform to show what they’re made of.”
And Sukazi should know. In 2019 he took Langa’s Wanderers FC to the quarter-finals of the senior men’s section of the same competition, before narrowly losing to Mitchell’s Plain’s Juventus.
“Wanderers players got serious exposure just by going all the way to the quarters that year. People started to notice. So, it is one thing to play against the same sides in your LFA week in and week out, and it’s another to come up against teams from other LFAs in the Coke Cup. It helps the players grow but, of course, discipline is key because they play on Sundays (in the league) and then Coke Cup on Sundays. So, discipline is key,” stressed Sukazi.
Sukazi, who played most of his football at Langa, without any coaching, said he realised that there was a big difference between what is called “community clubs” and the academies, coaching and the approach to the game.
“That’s when I decided to empower myself. I first did my CAF (Confederation of African Football) C coaching licence. Then, after that, I got an opportunity to coach at Chippa United FC, went back to Langa LFA to coach their board team before moving to MPCE Academy in Mitchell’s Plain.”
Following that stint in Mitchell’s Plain, he went back to Wanderers where he guided them to the 2019 Coke Cup quarters. Ever willing to learn and empower himself, Sukazi didn’t stop there, he went on to complete his CAF B coaching licence.
His talent and expertise didn’t go unnoticed as he was snatched by Cape Town City, formerly Ajax Cape Town, as their under-18 coach.
He says what motivates him is seeing talented footballers fulfilling their dreams.
“My job, as I see it, is to motivate the youngsters to go the extra mile.”