Ajax Cape Town Under-15 head coach Joe Tantaal has reflected positively on his team’s showing at the 2017 Kensington Tournament.
The Urban Warriors won five games on the trot to book their place in Sunday’s final, only to finish as runners-up, following defeat to Vasco Da Gama on penalties – the game had ended in a goalless stalemate.
So close yet so far for Tantaal’s troops, who showcased some eye-catching football on their way to booking a place in the showpiece event.
Tantaal pointed out that it’s never easy losing in a final: “We would have loved to win, but it wasn’t to be, but overall we did well and that boils down to the preparations we had for the tournament – they prepared us mentally, physically and technically.
“It was sad to see the boys cry after that loss, but for me as a coach it shows that they have the passion to win and they have learned that in football things like this happen.
Tantaal continued: “We have a great team and when I had to address the players this [Tuesday] morning at training they were in good spirits.
“The tournament gave us an indication of where we are as a team as we are looking forward to the new season, the standards are high as a team and our objective for the season is to win the league and play in the CTTFA knockout final.
Moreover, Tantaal reserved special praise for Dante Brown who was named player of the tournament for his performances over the course of the three days.
“Dante Brown was magnificent for us throughout the tournament and it’s no surprise that he walked away with the player of the tournament, and not forgetting the team for the good gutsy performances they put together throughout the tournament,” he concluded.