Perhaps the last time the Eastwood area was on the national soccer map was when the likes of Shaun Donnely, Arthur Bartman, Shane “The Gem” Morrison, Rowan Dolphin, Victor Vertuin, Shaun Potgieter and Enver Wiltwer turned professional.
Several others represented South Africa in different age groups and a lot of youngsters from the “Eastside” were recruited by the Safa Transnet School of Excellence and other clubs.
In the mid 1990s and early 2000s, the area was seen as a hub for talent and PSL and Safa talent scouts visited Eastwood regularly to recruit players.
Now, the only player from Eastwood who plays in professional ranks is Sedwyn George of Royal AM.
It is therefore encouraging to see that the 10-year-old Re-United FC are keeping the sporting legacy of the area alive.
The new kids on the block, known as the “People’s Team” in local soccer circles, are the new uMgungundlovu Region champions after outplaying everybody in the Nedbank Cup at a regional level.
During the recent Safa uMgungundlovu playoffs, the “Eastside” outfit managed to edge out the favourites — the experienced and star-studded Wartburg United — 2-1.
Safa uMgungundlovu regional executive officer Makhetha Mzimela confirmed to The Witness on Wednesday that Re-United are the uMgungundlovu regional Nedbank Cup winners and will now compete with all other regional winners on Saturday in Ladysmith (uThukela).
Mzimela said his association (Safa uMgungundlovu) is very proud of the Eastwood side and wish them all the best.
As Safa uMgungundlovu we would like to wish Re-United all the best in their next Nedbank Cup campaign in Ladysmith against other regional winners.
He said that if Re-United manages to win again in Ladysmith, they will be the KwaZulu-Natal Nedbank Cup Champions.
We must remember that they first became the regional winners and stand a good chance to be provincial champions in the Nedbank Cup. So we are all behind them.
The regions that will be taking part in the Nedbank Cup games in Ladysmith are uThukela (Junior Classic), Zuluand (Double- Classic), Amajuba (New Warriors) and uMgungundlovu (Re-United).
According to the team manager Kurtis Dos Santos, Re-United FC was formed in 2023 by local football enthusiast Shane Patchay.
Dos Santos told The Witness that although it is difficult to compete in the Nedbank Cup, all the players are managing so far.
We will try our best to carry the Eastwood, uMgungundlovu flag high and with pride. There are a lot of challenges financially and travelling is never easy.
“We would also like to thank our team’s president because he invested a lot in the team, just to keep the legacy of the team going,” said Dos Santos.
Re-United head coach Trevarno Williams will pin his hopes on his regular scorers such Lungisani Mvelase, Roberto Slater and Damion Sampson, and on his captain Storm Ramnath for his leadership skills.