No team like Ajax in our lifetime: Siwahla

Former Ajax Cape Town player, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla

by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – HISTORY-maker, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla, has expressed sadness at the demise of Ajax Cape Town.

The Poland-based right winger inked his name into South African football folklore in the famous red-and-white of the Cape Town outfit when he became the youngest player to score a goal in local professional football.

That was in 2004, when at the age of 15 years and 174 days, the wunderkind scored on debut in an Absa Cup game against Dynamos, another now-defunct side.

Forgotten striker, Thulani Ngcepe, broke that record in the colours of Moroka Swallows in 2007 but Siwahla retains his legendary status at Ajax.

The club has been in turmoil in recent years, culminating in relegation from the topflight in 2018.

They missed out on promotion from the first division on goal difference, to Moroka Swallows, last season.

This week, it was disclosed they had cut ties with parent club, Ajax Amsterdam, and launched an application with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to be renamed Cape Town Spurs.

Siwahla, in an emotional interview, expressed grief at the turn of events.

He said there would be no other club like Ajax in ‘our’ lifetime.

“Ajax Cape Town was not just a club. I don’t think we will get a club like that in South Africa in this lifetime, maybe in another life,” he said from overseas.

“Ajax Cape Town gave me life. I hope one day in the PSL we can have a team like that so that we can have top players that comes from development,” Siwahla told CAJ News Africa.

Founded in 1999 after a merger between Cape Town Spurs and Hellenic, the local Ajax were famed for their belief in youngsters. That was in life with their motto, “No Youth. No Future.”

Now 32, Siwahla shone under history-making coach, Gordon Igesund, who gave him his debut.

He left the Ikamva-based Urban Warriors in 2010.

“At Ajax, it didn’t matter if you played at Under-10 level or the first team, you would feel like you were the best player ever in the world. That is how powerful the club was,” the Cape Town-born player emphasized.

“Ajax Cape Town was life to a lot of people, including those that drove us to school and training. I’m grateful for the life that they have gave me with other players that they marketed, especially when it was ‘Total’ football,” Siwahla added.

He is a fan favourite at Poland fourth-tier side, Proch Pionki, where he recently extended his stay.

The former South African youth international player has previously starred for Bloemfontein Celtic, Chippa United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, FC Cape Town and Mochudi Centre Chiefs in neighbouring Botswana.

– CAJ News

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