Tim Sukazi is reveling in the success of his team. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Tim Sukazi takes a long pause before looking back on the glorious 14 months TS Galaxy have had. The GladAfrica Championship side came into existence in July last year after the former agent bought the status of Cape Town All Stars.

In just over a year, Galaxy have gone on to become the first team from the National First Division to win the Nedbank Cup, beating Kaizer Chiefs in the final, and represent South Africa in the CAF Confederation Cup while they are still not a premier division team.

Galaxy host Madagascar’s CNaPS Sport this afternoon in the first leg of the first round after dispatching Seychelles’ Saint Louis Suns United in the preliminary round.

“I would be lying if I said I dreamt this script playing itself out like it did,” Galaxy owner Sukazi said.

“What we have achieved is amazing. When we acquired the club in July, we didn’t have a single player. All we knew was that we would play our first game on 19 August. We had to scramble to put the team together.

“There is no way that I would have thought that 14 months later we would have won the Nedbank Cup and be playing CAF football. Our turning point was when we beat Ajax Cape Town 5-2 in the Nedbank Cup eliminator. We didn’t look back after that.”

Galaxy’s rise is a remarkable fairy-tale story that is now playing itself out in the Confederation Cup, where they are two rounds away from reaching the group stage.

Unlike some other South African teams, Sukazi’s side are giving it their all in the continental tournament.

“We are proud Africans,” Sukazi said. “We have a lot of respect for our continent, which is why we are giving it our all. We know resources of other African countries are not on the same level as what we are accustomed to here, but that doesn’t mean we look down on anyone.

“We understand why certain clubs have taken the stance they have taken on this competition, but we are proud of our continent. SA has a major role to play in the continent. We are flying the flag playing textbook South African football.”

In Dan Malesela, Galaxy have a coach who is obsessed with possession. The team are stingy with the ball, keeping it all to themselves, making opponents chase shadows.

But focusing too much on possession and not the end goal has been a bit of a problem for them.

Participating in the Confed Cup will help them grow in this regard as international football is about taking the limited chances that you get.

But can they juggle the continental challenge and also fight for promotion to the big league with a cool R3 million awaiting the winners of the inaugural GladAfrica Championship? “I dismiss with contempt the school of thought that our participation in the Confed Cup will hurt our ambitions for promotion,” Sukazi said.

“Look at Free State Stars. They were eliminated in the first round and then went on to be relegated. You also have to look at Sundowns; they were able to win the league and CAF. CAF builds you. It instils confidence. We have a young team that will grow from this experience. You just have to plan properly."

Sunday Independent

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