With around one week to go before the kick-off of the National First Division, there is a lot of expectation and excitement around Vasco Da Gama who have a new owner in Mario Ferreira.
Gauteng-based Ferreira is the CEO of the TMM Group of companies and has announced that his company is now the majority shareholder at Vasco da Gama.
He is also the chairperson of ACP (Portuguese Club) which plays in the amateur Pretoria district league.
“I was born in Mozambique and I live in Gauteng where I am the CEO of TMM so I consider myself a South African Portuguese. I have a long tradition with Portugal too; I have actually been given a very important accolade by the Portuguese government. It is like being knighted by your country’s government,” Ferreira told AfricanFootball.com recently.
“Despite this I am a South African Portuguese and understand the tradition of the name Vasco Da Gama and what this club means to the local community.”
Helping Ferreira on the ground and working closely with the club is Ashley Kotzin and his company Forwardzone, who will be responsible for the structure of Vasco Da Gama, with a sharp focus on the youth development set-up and taking this segment of the club to the next level.
Vasco legends Carlos, Mario and Paulo Das Neves have stayed on board as shareholders from the previous management team while the technical team, of Tony de Nobrega, Keenin Lesch and Kenny Gertse, stays as is for now.
“It’s all systems go,” Ferreira told Soccer Laduma last month. “TMM will be the majority shareholder. The das Neves brothers are staying on as minor shareholders. The major decisions will be made between Forwardzone and TMM with obviously input from Carlos, Mario and Paulo. Forwardzone will run the club together with a management team.
“I know quite a bit about football, am a passionate lover of the game and want to put something back into it by creating a structured approach which focusses two-fold on both the professional as well as amateur sides of Vasco.
“Obviously we want to get to the PSL (top-flight) as soon as possible. The club has a four-year dream in place. We’ve set our goal of reaching the top flight within two years, then over the next two want to be in the top 8, and what happens after that happens.”
Vasco have always had a very strong youth set up and between the TMM Group and Forwardzone, the ambition is improive the youth structures and make Vasco the club for which all Cape Town youngsters want to play.
“Our idea is to make Vasco one of the clubs in Cape Town that everyone wants to play for. We know this takes time and that is why for the next couple of years we will be working towards making this a club of choice for young players. We will also be bringing out some coaches from overseas to help bring our youth coaches up to a higher level,” said Ferreira.