JULY-

SPORTS NEWS

FAMILY DRIVEN BY PASSION FOR FOOTBALL

Abel and Adam Sealetsa are two brothers at the helm of one of the most successful football teams in local football, Marapyane Benfica FC. The TVM crew caught up with the brothers to hear insights of running a family team together with the hardships encountered along their journey. Sit back and indulge…

Shadrack Ngako
ngakos@thevillagemag.co.za

07 July 2020

Marapyane Benfica FC was started in 1985 in the village of Marapyane, it is a family team run strictly by the two brothers. Adam Sealetsa known to many as “Bra T or Taima” is the managing director of the team, while Abel Sealetsa known in the football fraternity as “Man or Ngwana” is the team manager, their nephew Phenius “Fetsi” Moeketsane is in charge of both the coaching and intensive training.

The team first affiliated for the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) Local Football Association (LFA), which was then known as the Dr. JS Moroka League and spent four seasons there before they eventually gained promotion to the South African Brewery (SAB) League in 2008, the forth tier of domestic football in the South African football pyramid. SAB league does not offer grants for teams, hence the Sealetsa brothers fund the team from their own pockets to cover expenses i.e. payment of match officials, transportation and other logistical costs as the league also requires a lot of traveling to places as far as Delmas and Verena which have teams that are in the same stream with Marapyane Benfica FC.

Funding a team is a serious challenge and the brothers tried every trick in the book to seek help, went as far as preparing proposals and approached local businessmen for sponsorship but their efforts were in vain. No one would assist the local team, even though they would speak highly of the team on the streets.

The team first affiliated for the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) Local Football Association (LFA), which was then known as the Dr. JS Moroka League and spent four seasons there before they eventually gained promotion to the South African Brewery (SAB) League in 2008, the forth tier of domestic football in the South African football pyramid. SAB league does not offer grants for teams, hence the Sealetsa brothers fund the team from their own pockets to cover expenses i.e. payment of match officials, transportation and other logistical costs as the league also requires a lot of traveling to places as far as Delmas and Verena which have teams that are in the same stream with Marapyane Benfica FC.

Funding a team is a serious challenge and the brothers tried every trick in the book to seek help, went as far as preparing proposals and approached local businessmen for sponsorship but their efforts were in vain. No one would assist the local team, even though they would speak highly of the team on the streets.

Adam Sealetsa is a full time school teacher at Ikageleng Primary school, a pastor of the Lutheran church of SA and heavily involved in community work, while Abel Sealetsa is employed by SASSA. It is amazing how the brothers strike balance between their jobs, church and football, but insists it is not easy but they manage as all three are important, furthermore stating that their love for football was inherited from their late father who had amazing leadership skills when he was part owner of a team called City Wonderous back in the days.

“All is not rosy in the SAB league as teams are treated differently ” Abel explained. The language barrier is a huge concern and players would be punished by match officials for what is deemed unsporting behavior according to LAW 12 OF FIFA LAWS OF THE GAME, but funny enough only the away team fall victim to such hostile treatment. Sometimes those tactics are used as a strategy to weaken and demoralize the away team causing them defeat. Marapyane Benfica FC has been at the receiving end of such behavior a lot, but they soldier on like professionals.

Marapyane Benfica FC hosts their home games at Liverpool Sports ground in Marapyane and the pitch is decent compared to places the team travels to. Abel said “Our team plays decent football when we are away to University of MP in Siyabuswa, because they use the university stadium as it is well maintained and is in much better condition compared to other fields elsewhere”. Most teams still lack facilities and it would be harsh to blame the municipality alone while the SAB being the main sponsor is keeping a blind eye as well to ensure the safety of players. FIFA rules are heavily compromised when it comes to infrastructure in this league.

It is rare for a team of Benfica’s caliber to achieve little success given the quality of players they have at their disposal. The brand of football they play to date can all be attributed to the intelligent brain behind it all, coach Fetsi. Some of the achievements and accolades the team has achieved in recent past includes:

  • 2017 – Andries Chicha Top32 Champions (Marapyane) 
  • 2018 – ANC Campaign Tournament Champions (Vaalbaank)
  • 2018 – Easter Tournament Champions (Mootla)

Below is a list of players that don the Benfica jersey before making their moves at professional level:

  1. Tebogo “Tete” Matlala: Played for University of Pretoria in the First Division for two and a half season & was top goal scorer for one season. 
  2. Morake Sealetsa: A player who had a powerful left foot, there was no way the scouts would not have selected him. 
  3. Kabelo “Kappa” Sealetsa: Played for winners Park (MDC Team). Currently with Aly’s Tigers in the ABC Motsepe league, an asset to the team. 
  4. Tshireletso Motsogi: He got his big break while playing varsity football for Wits University where he also captained the side. Currently with PSL side Stellenbosch FC. An inspiration to many kids in the Villages. 

Other exports include: 

Dona, Zauza, Steve Skhaolelo, Babo and Isaac Moagi. 

All these players played for Marapyane Benfica FC before securing their moves elsewhere, another achievement the team can be proud of. We certainly hope and wish them and Marapyane Benfica FC all the success, furthermore, hopefully someone out there would be able to assist and sponsor them