Chapter 1: Background

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COMETSA Jane Furse Sekhukhune FC (Pty) Ltd is not a typical football club that chases after becoming a professional outfit playing in the prestigious football leagues. We are a business organization, a company with interest in the business of football in all its aspects.

Our organization, COMETSA, has achieved amazing results, especially the career growth of our member players of our development initiatives since our founding date, the 1st August 1997.

We have now transferred those development programmes and initiatives to our non-profit development agency, COMETSA Sports Development Agency – NPO (Registration No. 2001/005048/08).

We do however recognise the fact that football as sport belongs to the official associations governed by the global laws of the game, under FIFA. In South Africa, football is the responsibility of the South African Football Association (SAFA), and at the local levels it is through SAFA Local Football Associations (LFA) structures. We respect and recognise these football structures. In fact, in 2014, COMETSA Sports Development Agency – NPO received funding from the German Development Agency, GIZ, to run a series of Youth Development through Football (YDF) sessions. COMETSA identified the SAFA Tshwane's Mabopane Local Football Association (LFA) as one of the beneficiaries of these initiatives. We conducted the YDF programme for their clubs coaches and issued certificates on completion of the programme. We would love to continue such collaborations with the football associations through our COMETSA Sports Development Agency – NPO

COMETSA Jane Furse Sekhukhune FC (Pty) Ltd, is focusing on the commercial aspects of the business of football. Our interest is the local town of Jane Furse and the region of Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo Province of South Africa. Jane Furse is one of the fastest growing peri-urban towns in South Africa. In fact Jane Furse is officially designated to become a city of the future. The platinum mining region of Burgersfort justifies this strategic goal for Jane Furse. In the future we will be proudly talking about Jane Furse City in Sekhukhune District Municipality, Limpopo Province. We hope that COMETSA Jane Furse Sekhukhune FC (Pty) Ltd will be counted among those organizations that would have contributed to the achievement of this vision.

PROJECT EXTENSION TO OTHER REGIONS: It is our plan to extend this project to other regions of South Africa, once we have succeeded in building a strong base reference in the Greater Sekhukhune Region in Limpopo Province. In fact, our main objective is to exchange the village football clubs heritage of the various regions in South Africa. We strongly believe that this is the most important piece of the South African football that is rich with culture that can be shared with the football sector globally.

This brings me to the topic COMETSA Research Project – Village Football Clubs (South Africa). I grew up in this Jane Furse area, as a herd-boy, scholar, and village football fanatic, playing for Moripane Scientists FC, a village football club at Moripane village, Ga- Kgosi Sekwati Mampuru wa Mamone.

I grew up following some of the great village football clubs with colourful names (brands) that mobilised the village boys. Our first exposure to football was through these village football clubs. We are the scholars and graduates of village football in the Greater Sekhukhune Region before we could become supporters and fans of the now famous South African clubs like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows, Pretoria Callies, Benoni United, Zulu Royals, etc. In fact, we knew of these South African great clubs and brands through radio broadcasts, i.e. ka leihlo la moya. So, if my local village football club was playing, and at the same time on radio there was a broadcast of Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates, we would opt for our local village football club game. That is how strong local village football was in the Greater Sekhukhune Region in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

The closest we were to South African big football teams was through the emergence of Limpopo football clubs like Seshego Stone Breakers FC, Seshego City Carlton FC, Seshego Saints FC, Mahwelereng Real Rovers FC, and when Boleu Negroes FC in Tafelkop hosted the first professional team in Greater Sekhukhune Region, Kaizer Chiefs FC. This is the game which Chiefs used to introduce their legendary Nelson "Botsotso" Dladla to its supporters. This is how Kaizer Chiefs grew their support base in the Greater Sekhukhune Region.

The tradition of going on away game trip is memorable. The singing as warriors of our village football clubs was to intimidate the host club. Many of these village football clubs were known by their trip war songs. We were very jealous of our songs being copied by rival village football clubs. When the games were big, like tournaments, we would organize additional transport for our ladies supporters, who would add more power to intimidating host clubs. And of course there was non-stop singing by the ladies throughout the match, giving a boost to their team. They will sing, calling the names of their team players throughout the game. When the strategy would not work, they would assemble behind the opposition team's goals to unsettle their goalkeeper with the noise; hopefully he would lose concentration and let the ball in. Sometimes this strategy would backfire as it would only serve to motivate the opposition goalkeeper to work even harder, and even win the ladies over. I remember myself as a youngest goalkeeper defying the intimidation of the ladies of Makalaneng Smodern village football club. At the end of the game I had won favour of one of the ladies, who wanted to come with our team, Moripane Scientists FC. Of course, I was still very young and she was older, and I would not know what to do with her. This was the craziness of village football in Greater Sekhukhune Region then. I wonder what happened to this fanatic practice!

We were also fortunate in that the Greater Sekhukhune Region started building a number of high schools, which attracted players from far places like the South. High schools like Malekutu High School, Bopedi Bapedi High School, Matsebong High School, Phatametsane High School, Hlogo Tlou High School, etc, attracted scholars from other parts of South Africa who contributed immensely to the regional village football. These scholars played for the village football clubs on weekends. They became celebrity football players in the villages.

Here are my greatest ever legendary village football clubs in Greater Sekhukhune Region. You will notice that almost all of them have their names starting with the name of the village where they come from. Look at the creativity of the naming of these village clubs. Through these names you can realise the influence from other regions of South Africa. Radio broadcast contributed to this creativity;

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