Football at Westville Boys’ High School
The sport of football has a relatively short but proud history as it has attempted to establish itself as a traditional school sport. It is now one of the most popular sports at Westville Boys’ High School. Up to 30 teams are fielded during football season, making it one of the largest football playing schools in South Africa. The football season takes place during the 3rd term. The 1st team usually also plays some warm-up fixtures during the 2nd term.
The first report on football in the school magazine, the Bell, appeared in 1988 when football officially became one of the School’s clubs and societies. Prior to this, various pupils from the School had excelled at football, playing in amateur and professional club teams and representing their province and country.
Good progress was made during the 1990’s with our teams doing well in fixtures against other schools. Official practices were instituted in 1994 and in 1995 a junior team was added as well as an inter-house tournament. By the end of another very successful season, football was included as an official school sport. Age group teams were added and by 1998 all age group teams had been established.
The first team undertook its first tour in 1998 and tough opposition was encountered on the East-
Rand where football is particularly strong and well-established.
A successful 1st team tour to England took place in September 2000 and added a new dimension to football as a school sport.
Since the successful first overseas tour in 2000, the sport grew in stature and popularity. The numbers of teams fielded started growing as the popularity of the sport continued to increase. Playing standards increased as coaching expertise increased and the school’s first team signalled their intentions by being runners up at the Kloof Tournament in 2005, won the plate event in 2006, runners up in the plate in 2007 and 2008 and were championship winners in 2009, 2010 and 2013. In 2006, the 1st team won the Grey College Tournament, a national tournament of the best High School teams in the country, reaching the final again in 2013.
A number of boys have been selected for the various KZN school teams with some of the players going on to play in professional leagues overseas – these include Steven Bezuidenhout, Glen Hollister and George Koumantarakis. Old Boys currently playing in the Premier Soccer League in South Africa include Reece Evans (Maritzburg United), Damian van Rensburg (Golden Arrows) and Jethro Barr (Wits). Our senior national representatives include Lyle Nisbet (1984) and since re-admission to world football in 1992, George Koumantarakis (1995) for Bafana Bafana. George also represented Bafana Bafana at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The school boasts excellent facilities for the sport including 4 fields, indoor facilities in the Multi-Purpose Centre and an outdoor artificial court for 5-a-side games. Three fields at Jimmy Bellows and one field at Chiltern are also available for the School’s use.
Tribute needs to be paid to those staff who have played a significant role in the development of the sport in the School – Tom Brown, Paul Lichkus, Trevor Cowie and Steven Bezuidenhout.
The sport continues to grow in popularity as it fulfils its mandate to provide organised sport for a large number of boys in the third term.