New Kid on the Block: Clarewood Joins ABC Motsepe League

Joshua Hendricks, 11 November 2021

Clarewood JPM  are now in the ABC Motsepe League, and they’re looking to make the most of it – and change the whole mindset and landscape of semi-professional football along the way.

“Something new is coming for Cape Town, which involves three pillars: Education, Empowerment and Exposure,” says player and General Manager Fagan Muller. “The vision and mission is that players of the future need a club of the future – and that is us. We don’t just want to create the best players at the end of the season, but the best people.” 

Clarewood are taking things beyond a player’s short term ambition as a footballer. 

Every player is added to a mindset programme run through Muller’s company, Business Life Academic and Sports Coaching (BLASC) – to produce peak performance and grow the individual’s professional self, it could be a writer, a sportsman, but growth in your life. 

Each player has to do an entrepreneurship course. They’ll all have to do a financial literacy programme, so that would include how to invest, financial markets and investing in your child’s future. And that’s just for starters. Then we also have another entity coming on board that I can’t mention yet but they will be given two free courses for the player in terms of finances too. Those are the stuff that’s part and parcel of what the player will get this season. So besides them becoming better on the field they’ll also become better people. “

That’s not to say the football doesn’t matter, of course.

Ashraf Calvert, Coach of Clarewood, attributes their success to their style of play and management. 

“Not necessarily one style but it has to do with combination play,” he says. “Being able to switch from one style to another and changing according to scenarios or conditions. The tactical approach to each game is very different.” 

Calvert accepts that It can take a lot of time to get players to understand his tactics, and that understanding is a key factor. “Lots of players don’t understand the principles and fundamentals, and that this means I can add a lot of value.” 

The Clarewood coach continues further on the culture and expectations around the club. 

“There’s a lot of expectation as a young coach and being a new team. We have a plan and the aim is to put in the hard work tactically. Working through the zones on the pitch. Playing to our strengths and working out the opponents and finding a way to counter them. Creating a culture, managing and respecting players. Having great people skills and knowing how to manage the players mentally, too.”

A Legacy Of Leaders

BLASC is about creating leaders – on and off the field. 

“We want to serve the greater Cape Town and make that transition,” Muller notes. “There is junior football, senior football and competitive football. ABC is a professional league, and most of our clubs treat it like it’s not. We have to help people understand that – by building a team and showing it off with a just cause.”

The aim is to instill these principles early because they have a very young squad which has good seniors. In theory, they would become better players and have longevity with their families beyond the last whistle. 

“It’s good to see Clarewood take on this project. Every player has his own individualistic training programme that also involves his own academic things that he needs to instill in the programme. So that’s Education and the courses are there to Empower. So what is Exposure, if they need to be sent to a higher level they’ll need video footage. So we need to get to that level, if our clubs are not understanding the importance of footage then where are we? 

They’re building profiles for all the boys, providing them with security and creating a different culture within their household and effectively within Cape Town itself. 

“Our thinking needs to be fast forward. So every league game will be live on Facebook. Which means that footage is there for the player, every player can be watched and criticized. It’s beautiful hearing people phone after our first game against Grassy Park and just criticising the heck out of the team…and then we ask them if they enjoyed the game.”


The long-term project is to use Clarewood to ultimately also build a school. With curriculums for footballers and businessmen, etc.

“We know it’s different, and this time we’re not going to just say it, we’re going to show it. We’re gonna show the world that there is someone that’s trying to compete with them. We’re building legacies – and changing lives.”