Samuel ‘Sam’ Andrade continues to live and breath everything Ajax Cape Town, with the U15 Team Manager having first set foot at Ikamva in 2009.
Ever since, Sam has borrowed a helping hand wherever needed – when not working at Wonderland in N1 City: a popular destination for young and old (just ask Mosa Lebusa and Co), he will be at the club doing what he loves best.
In the latest ‘Get To Know’ segment on ajaxct.co.za we caught up with Sam, who not only boasts a diploma in sports management, but also a CAF B coaching license…
LIFE BEFORE AJAX & WHERE HIS URBAN WARRIORS JOURNEY STARTED
“Before I joined the club I was a coach at Holy Cross football club in Bellville, I then applied here and Maarten Stekelenburg was the Head of Youth at the time, and he was just introducing the concept of Team Managers – I duly joined the U12 team at the time.
“I was with the U12’s for a few years, then the U13’s, U14’s and now I am with the U15’s.
SAM’S ROLE AT IKAMVA
“It involves drafting, updating and distributing all documentation regarding the team. Filling out team sheets and filing results. Updating player information – now with Dotcomsport it is a lot easier – I remember when I first started here and if there was a change in training I’d have to contact every single player individually.
“With WhatsApp it has become a lot more easier. You also act as a liaison on occasion, when players or parents have concerns then you direct them to the appropriate coach or person at the club.
“Also communicating with other teams, fellow coaches and the drivers at the club regarding team matters.
CREAM OF THE CROP
“I think that is one of the more satisfying things about this job: when you see a player that you worked with as a kid graduate into the PSL Team. Guys like Grant [Margeman], Shane [Saralina], Luthando [Mateza], Scara [Pholongo], Dean Solomons (who is now with Ajax Amsterdam), Riyaaz Koopstadt] who won the Urban Warrior award this year.
“Those are but a few of the players that I’ve had the privilege of watching climb through the ranks since I joined the club.
“When I am not at Ajax Cape Town I work for the family business, at Wonderland. I have been working there since 2002 – well over a decade now.
LOVE FOR SOCCER
“My parents were never involved in soccer, I just had a passion for sport and soccer in particular so when I finished school I studied sport management and I got a diploma in sport’s management after two years.
“I also did a few coaching courses, the highest coaching license I have is a CAF B and yes I’ve always wanted to be part of a professional soccer club at any capacity.
“At this stage I don’t see myself going back into coaching – I enjoy what I do. I enjoy being a positive influence in the kids life. A lot of the kids come from difficult backgrounds and growing up is not easy.
“Assisting the kids is satisfying, watching them grow up and four, five years later having them come back to the club to thank you for all the words of encouragement – that’s a great feeling and that is why I love this job.”
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