Swallows are now second on the NFD standings with 40 points after 22 games, just five points behind leaders Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Swallows are now second on the NFD standings with 40 points after 22 games, just five points behind leaders Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Lesufi astonished by Swallows’ success

By minenhle mkhize Time of article published Mar 3, 2020

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Panyaza Lesufi, the man behind the revival and rebirth of Swallows FC is astonished by their swift success which sees them on the verge of promotion to the PSL.

Swallows are now second on the NFD standings with 40 points after 22 games, just five points behind leaders Ajax Cape Town.

Swallows swept past a relegation threatened Royal Eagles team 3-1 over the weekend.

Lesufi is elated by the instant success of Swallows, but hadn’t expected it to be so soon.

“You could hardly think of this team a year ago. For it to be where it is right now, supporters coming back, it is surprising. I can tell you now, every team wants to beat us. When we started in this league, everyone thought it will be a walk-over against us. We are comfortable. It (promotion) is in our hands. We don’t want to rely on somebody, but if luck comes in we will grab that luck. The reality is that the team that is on top of us still has to play us. Anything can happen,” Lesufi who is one of the directors at Swallows said. Lesufi and other directors bought the status of Maccabi FC last year to start the revival of the Dube Birds.

“I’m still in denial. In January, the ruling party (African National Congress) was in Kimberley. I looked at that Kimberley big hole and something in me says I took Swallows out of that hole. That’s why I say, I’m in denial because to take anything out of that hole to the surface, it is not ordinary. Unthinkable. It is just unreachable. To see the team going to number two, today I feel that anything can happen. Even if, we don’t get promoted but the mere fact that this team is here and is playing, I’m satisfied,” he said.

Swallows is one of the oldest teams in South Africa. They were founded in 1947, but were relegated from the top flight in 2014-15. After one season in the NFD, they were relegated to the ABC Motsepe League.

“My drive for the revival of Swallows is all about protection of history, protection of heritage. I didn’t want this rich history to go down. I invested literally everything in it. I’ve invested everything, even my children in it. We are excited. Swallows is an MBA material. Someone must write the history of Swallows and put it on the academic shelves. It is a history worth knowing and worth protecting.” Lesufi said.

Swallows will face Pretoria University, Uthongathi FC, TS Sporting, Real Kings, Ajax Cape Town, Steenberg United, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Richards Bay in their last eight league games. 

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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