21 December 2018 – “TIS the season to be jolly”, or so the song goes. It is still however football season. Not only are there on-going major league and cup fixtures across the globe, but also something for the youth, amateurs, aspiring professionals and soccer-loving communities.

However, such tournaments, matches and events are more than just fun and games to celebrate the festive season, particularly for the players themselves and even for coaches, match officials and administrators. It is another step in their own personal evolution and is taken seriously.

Events that come to mind include the Philly’s Games, Discovery Walter Sisulu Challenge and Scara Ngobese Games. All these games produced a number of PSL and Bafana Bafana players

Such events offer budding players something to look forward to as they are given a rare opportunity to showcase skills and also helps them stay away from drugs and other bad influences.

It allows players to dream big, apart from helping them to hone their skills. Coaches, referees and administrators also get the chance to develop while fair play is also promoted.

Community upliftment and economic development are also important factors and new friendships are also formed among the carnival atmospheres and camaraderie.

However, there is one aspect that could make future events such as these that much more interesting – the use of SAFA’s revolutionary new registration software (MYSAFA), which will inevitably assist in a more synergistic running of such tournaments as a whole.

This particular registration and competition management system is tailor-made and specifically designed for such events. Benefits would include the prevention of age-cheating and verification of players. There will also be little doubt about players participating for more than one team, for example – a problem that organisers have battled with in recent times. Transparency will now be promoted and the competition will have a professional feel to it.

This is mere suggestion from my side as relevant administrators will have a lot taken off their plates; but it seems that the software will indeed be utilised in the near future in any case.

Good luck to all teams and players involved in any such event this festive season.

By: Dhirshan Gobind