The Gauteng-based South African Police Service (SAPS) are not your ordinary police officers who only protect people, fight crime, control traffic and hand out fines on the roads.
They’ve formed a strong team made up of the best players in Gauteng to take part at the prominent Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge in Klipspruit.
Captain of the team, Evans Makeka from the Midrand SAPS said that they are playing the Discovery Challenge to support the initiative and the community of Soweto at large.
“We as the Gauteng SAPS decided to play the Discovery Soccer Challenge to show the community of Soweto that we support them. We also play different sporting codes in and around Gauteng.”
“This tournament affords young players an opportunity to showcase their talent so they can have a chance of playing professional football,” said Makeka after his side drew 2-2 against Burundi FC on Sunday.
Makeka, who plays as a right-back, made it clear that they are at the Discovery Challenge to compete and not just make up the numbers.
“This team is a provincial team, all the players across Gauteng. We can win this tournament because when we step onto the field of play we play our hearts out, we are committed and eager to win, and we can reach the finals and prove that the police are capable of playing diski (football) by winning this tournament.”
The Gauteng SAPS team have played four games so far in the Discovery Challenge, winning two games comfortably, 4-1 against Amasalamusi and 3-0 versus Dzakaroski FC.
They narrowly lost 2-3 against Selecao and drew 2-2 against Burundi FC.
“Each and every year we play the SAPS Gauteng tournament where coaches selected the best players. Each SAPS cluster has its own league and we play every Wednesday.”
“In April selected players come together to form the Gauteng SAPS squad that represents the entire Gauteng province at the SAPS Football National Championships. This year the National Championships were hosted in Durban and we clinched the title, we were crowned champions of South Africa.”
Makeka, who didn’t reveal his age, said that he doesn’t have any ambitions of playing football at the highest level.
“I am playing for fun and age is not on my side as well. Our team is made up mostly of players who are constables in the police rank and we have two coaches who are sergeants,” he concluded.
To stay updated on the tournament, follow Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge 2019 on Facebook and use the hashtag #DWSSC19 across platforms to follow all the action.
Gates will open at 9am daily and entry is free.