Monday, 2 February 2015

South Africa: New season off with a bang!

A good field of players
The 2015 season got off with a bang on Sunday the 1st of February with the holding of the annual New Year’s Tournament at Panorama Sports Club. Players from both the Johannesburg Table Football Club and Pretoria Flickers including the first Turkish player to compete on South African soil, namely Erdi Bayraktutan, battled it out for the title. As this was Erdi’s first taste of table football, he acquitted himself well and held some seasoned players at bay and collected three impressive draws.

Goals were at a premium throughout the tournament which was testament to some very good defensive work by the majority of players. The group stages went according to the seedings as Clifford Graaff and Jayden van der Merwe progressed unscathed along with Chessray Jooste and Bevin Reed from Group A and B respectively. The major surprise occurred in the semi-finals where Chessray Jooste accounted for the top ranked Jayden by two goals to nil. Clifford also had a tight game against Bevin and only progressed on a penaly shoot-out by the odd goal in three.

Jayden however managed to capture third spot by defeating Bevin with the only goal in a very tense game.
The semi-finalists

Chessray Jooste and Clifford Graaff before the final

Bevin Reed and Jayden Van der Merwe playing for places 3 and 4
The final also proved to be a very tight and close game and some very classy defending by Chessray kept Clifford at bay. After a scoreless game, a penalty shoot-out resulted. Clifford held his nerve with the winning goal coming from the last kick after a mistake by the normally cool Chessray.
As per usual, great fun was had by all and 2015 looks to be the most productive year for the South African Table Football Association in our short history.

(Report by Clifford Graaff)