Our national soccer champs!
By Mihle Tolobisa
The Eastern Cape Under 17 girls’ soccer team is the 2019 South African Football Association’s Under 17 Girls National champions after beating Gauteng 5-2 in the finals in Bloemfontein, on December 13, 2019.
The team, led by Greenpoint Secondary School pupil, Chloe Rulf, (16) were impressive, especially in their final match. Rulf scored a goal for EC in the final. Rulf has been one of the stars in the local football scene; famously known for scoring nine goals in a match between her then school, Cranberry Primary School and Science College.
She started playing soccer aged 11, playing for Leeds Football Club, a boys’ team. Her presence was quickly felt and she was recognised as a remarkable player to watch. The Cambridge resident described her soccer-playing experience with boys as more ‘thrilling’ compared to playing with girls.
“I enjoy playing with boys more than playing with girls because they are more challenging in the field, even though it may get a little rough, I like the competition,” said Rulf.
Amongst her achievements in both the girls and boys leagues, she received a Special Achievement Award in 2017 from the East London Central LFA U14 and Buffalo City Metro U19 female teams in the Steve Tshwete Games.
Her former coach from Cranberry Primary School, Lee-Anne Winlock, said she is outstanding on the field. “The school won the East London Schools Soccer Tournament for two consecutive years due to her excellence and talent.”
She plans to pursue a professional soccer career and idolises Cristiano Ronaldo. She believes that hard work and dedication will get her to his level. Her bedroom is full of Ronaldo’s magazine posters and dozens of her trophies and medals, which she has won throughout the years.
This young lady has also taught her father, Elijah Rulf, to know and love soccer.
“I was not much of a soccer fan, I liked rugby, but she introduced me to it because she is so passionate about it, she is happy in the field,” he said.