Beautiful Birds of Alexandra fail to honour fixture

Birds coach Malvin Khumalo says their transport broke down on their way to honour a Pull Together Ladies fixture in Mamelodi. Photo: Zanele Siso of Zanephoto


Even sheer luck seems to have deserted the Beautiful Birds of Alexandra and coach Malvin Khumalo appears to have run out of excuses.

The Birds could not fulfil their weekend fixture on 10 June as their kombi broke down and their opponents were awarded a walkover.

At a time when he most probably thought ‘this was the time’ in his Sasol Women’s League campaign after assembling one of the strongest and talented teams, Khumalo has watched in despair as his team continues on a downward slope game after game.

The Birds started the season on a high, winning all their games by big margins, both at home and away and Khumalo must have thought that this was their season after surviving the past three seasons on the fringes of relegation.

After picking up a sponsor in 2015 in the name of Zimbabwean billionaire businessman, Joseph Makamba Busha of JM Busha Investment Group, the coach must have said ‘at last the Gods were looking down upon us’.

It is this sponsorship that finally enabled Khumalo to strengthen his squad not just with average players but with the best football gems money can buy, such as the evergreen midfield maestro, Nonhlanhla ‘Gaddafi’ Mthandi and the no-nonsense defender Deveney Rhoda.

Others included goalkeeper Tshidi Morua, superb winger Lerato Makhanya and the recent Soweto star to join the nest, Lerato ‘Fabulous Gem’ Williams, an acquisition from Soweto Fabulous Ladies.

A number of talented players also joined before the sponsorship including of captain of the side and versatile winger Vangile ‘Nyatama’ Mnguni, nimble-footed Tshwarelo ‘Golden Feet’ Digaota and equally talented Morongwa Manamela.

Izintombi zikaMalvin or Banyana ba Malvin [Malvin’s Girls], as they are popularly known in Alexandra, were in devastating form in the preseason JM Busha Women’s Soccer Tournament as they demolished all and sundry to bag the 2017 second edition of the international tournament.

From what was displayed in the preseason games, Khumalo must have been beating his chest in confidence for what was in store for the coming season. And indeed, his charges translated their devastating form into the new season, but only in a couple of matches.

Things started falling apart when they were beaten 2–1 by one of the so-called weak teams of the league, Tuks Ladies and thereafter the wheels started coming off as the Birds lost match after match, prompting a tongue-lashing from the coach, which never paid any dividends.

On 10 June, the hired transport taking the team to their away match in Mamelodi outside Pretoria broke down and the Birds had to hike in an endeavour to honour the fixture but came too late and the match was declared a walkover.

This meant Pull Together Ladies of Mamelodi were awarded the match 2–0 and collected maximum points.

Khumalo wondered whether his team was now cursed. “Our form has been dipping for some time now and we have in the process lost a lot of points, and now comes this, when we thought now we can start raking in the points too.”

Do you think the Birds are truly cursed and why? Tweet @AlexNewsZA to share your views

Sipho Siso

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