In his own words, Sifiso Myeni’s unemployed status means he would be sitting at home watching a movie and bored.
However, the former Orlando Pirates winger is spending his time at the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge currently underway at Nike Football Training Centre in Klipruit, Soweto, which is his hood since he was born in the famous township.
“I grew up here (in Soweto) and I always say never forget where you come from, that’s why I’m here every day attending the tournament. I played here too,” says Myeni, who’s now 31.
“I don’t just come here because I can sign players for my team (Myeni FC), but I come here mainly to enjoy the game. Why not come and watch rather than sitting at home and watching a movie, getting bored? We need to come here and support the younger ones – give them hope.”
Myeni has been clubless since parting ways with Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits at the end of the 2017/2018 season.
Instead of dwelling on the fact that he can’t find a team – nothing came out of his trials with Highlands Park and Chippa United, he’s graterul that the tournament is still going strong after 17 years, considering he’s running a team that could benefit with signing some new players from the tournament and hopefully improve in the SAB League, which is the fourth tier of South African football.
Myeni is one of a host of former players that have been spotted at the tournament.
The others include former Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs flying winger Arthur Zwane and Thapelo Tshilo, who starred in defence for Jomo Cosmos, Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City.
Speaking on his team, they are mostly U17s, which is in line with what’s happening at Discovery Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge, because this age group – the future of SA football, is accommodated in this tournament.
In looking to help the youth make it to the top, Myeni looks up to the likes of Senaone Gunners chairman, Mike Ntombela, whose Soweto team has produced Bafana Bafana stars; captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Thulani Serero, as well as one of the PSL’s most consistent performers, Jabulani Maluleke.
“It’s been good and bad, but for me it’s all about doing it for the youngsters.
“But it’s been difficult because some other times I haven’t been working. I’ve been running the team from my own pocket, but I have someone who’s helping me in terms of finance,” he says.
“I thought since I’m not working he was going to say things like the boys are asking for too much, but he said, ‘you know what, let’s keep the team and let’s keep working’. I’m also trying to get some sponsors.
“I’m the Jomo Sono of the team; I’m the coach and owner. I have more time since I haven’t been playing.”
During his career Myeni played under different coaches at Bidvest Wits, Pirates and SuperSport United, with different characters. This, he says, has helped him a great deal in guiding Myeni FC.
“Roger (de Sa) was like a father to me and coach Eric (Tinkler) was also like a father to me.
“And then coach Gavin (Hunt), who wants you to work hard and VV (Vladimir Vermezovic), you’d not say anything to him… you’d not even approach him, but he’d want what’s best for you.
“I take all the experiences I had and instill in my players,” Myeni adds.
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.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa