28 June 2018 – Passion, compassion and good old fashion determination – noble qualities that Portia FC was built on. The Mandela LFA based club was formed in 2009 and has come a long way in a short time, with an emphasis on player well-being and the creation of a family environment.
Team manager Unathi Mshundula chatted to MySAFA about her aunt and club founder Portia Amatholengwe, the club’s brief history, season preparation and much more.
“My aunt Portia has always had a passion for the game. Many may recall her playing alongside the likes of Desiree Ellis in the Western Cape provincial teams or even for Red Eagles. She then had the opportunity to partake in a coaching program in the Netherlands and returned with a vision to build her own team”, said Mshundula.
The club hit the ground running and immediately won some silverware with the founder proving a great inspiration. After a while though, other teams attempted to lure key players away from Portia in what proved to be a challenging period.
“We were always a top five club and being successful means that you will get noticed. Players were offered better deals and we lost 70% of our stars”, stated the manager.
In terms of other challenges, she added: “We also do have financial issues and are desperate for some sort of sponsor”.
When asked about the team’s preparation for the season, Mshundula told MySAFA: “We tried to go back to basics and work from scratch. Our main aim was scouting of players. We sourced some top U16 talents from local schools and will now try to up-skill them even more.”
As stated above, there is a keen emphasis on compassion and a family-based environment, which seems key to the club’s future ambitions.
“We also recruited a few girls from Durban and one from Port Elizabeth. We offered them a home and place to stay. We live in Khayelitsha and eat together, train together and go out onto the pitch together like a true family. We also try to find these girls jobs as well.”
When discussing the team’s 8-0 thumping of Nietvoorbij in the opening fixture (Stream A) and their goals for the season, the manager did not mince words: “We won because of team spirit! We want to score as many goals as possible to get noticed by the national set-up. Our main goal for the season is a top five finish. We also wish to be a part of the national league if it does materialize”, concluded the manager.
Portia tackle Santos FC this coming Saturday.