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South African senior women’s national team and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies captain, Andile Dlamini has heaped praise on Philly’s Games founder, Philemon Mathebula. Mathebula is the founder of the annual Philly’s Games that takes place in Tembisa.

The 31st edition of South Africa’s largest off-season tournament officially got underway on Monday, 19 December. It runs throughout the festive season until 2 January, where Dlamini is one of the proud ambassadors of the tournament.

Now boasting two continental gold medals with both club and country, Dlamini says like many of today’s professional players, she also used similar environments in Tembisa to hone her craft of the game, where in most instances, had to play with and against the boys.

Though the tournament is yet to launch a women’s division, the Tembisa-born star says it remains an inspiration to all aspiring footballers. She says the tournament has all the right ingredients to prepare a footballer for the professional stage such as competitiveness, large crowds and now Television.

SIMILAR JOURNEY FOR ANDILE DLAMINI

“I myself am a proud product of such competitions. Even though I may not have played in this exact tournament, growing up in Tembisa,” she said.

“I had quite a similar experience of playing in front of large and demanding crowds over weekends. Such environments are important in player development because as you progress in your career, you will find yourself playing in front of hostile environments. The standard of competitiveness continues to grow as well. This teaches you that as a footballer, you constantly need to work on your craft and the Philly’s Games instil such a discipline” says Dlamini.

The Banyana Banyana first-choice keeper also touched on the importance of having a partner like DStv. DStv have taken the games to the next level thanks to the live broadcast of all matches for viewers to enjoy at home.

SPONSORSHIP KEY TO SUCCESS

“Besides not being able to be physically in Tembisa, some people may not have the luxury of being on vacation during the festive season and therefore rely on local activities to keep them entertained. DStv’s partnership with the Philly’s Games not only exposes talent to the rest of the country, but it affords thousands of homes a full afternoon of safe and secure entertainment from the comfort of their homes thanks to the games being shown live on SuperSport,” said Dlamini.

Andile Dlamini at Philly’s Games
Andile Dlamini at Philly’s Games

Dlamini went on to encourage young girls to not shy away from attending such competitions and whenever possible, play with the boys to gain that added advantage of strength and competitiveness.

“I would encourage girls to play in such environments and at times against boys. Most women footballers today will tell you that they started playing against boys because it does give you an added advantage of improving your strength. So, I would definitely encourage the girl child to attend such games and continue working hard as women’s football continues to be on the rise in the country,” concluded Dlamini.

2022/23 PHILLY’S GAMES FIXTURE DATES & VENUES:

Maseven Ivory – 19, 20 and 21 December

Etafuleni Ivory – 22, 23 and 24 December

Phomolong Sport Complex Tembisa – 26, 27 and 28 December

Esiqongweni, Tembisa – 29, 30 December and 1 January

Mehlareng, Tembisa 2 January (Final)

PRIZE MONIES:

1st Prize                               R200 000.00

2nd Prize                             R70 000.00

3rd Prize                              R20 000.00

4th Prize                              R10 000.00

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