The aptly named Amazing Galaxy Warriors have been exactly that – amazing. A touch club that is steeped in history on all playing fields around South Africa. You don’t have to search too far to find these well conditioned (when they need to be) touch players as they are stones throw away from Camps Bay beach. The club also competes in other sports such as Sevens, Rugby and Soccer but they reknowned for there Touch playing abilities.
We chatted to Ismail “Ilie” Slamang. The AGW team captain, current South Africa Men’s Open touch captain and arguably one of the wittiest touch players in South Africa.
Thanks, for your time Ilie. How did the team name come about?
“Initially the club was known as the Amazing Sand Warriors, but we have merged with the largest touch club in the world, Galaxy Touch. Hence the new name.”
You guys have quite a history, so tell us a little bit of background to the club?
“The club started 21 years ago, from very humble beginnings in a park in Bo-Kaap, where a few guys got together and decided to toss a rugby ball around. Till today that park is considered the home of touch across the Cape. The club has a rich history and over the years has produced some of the top provincial and South African players.”
With a lots of good players throughout the years, you must have achieved some accolades along the way?
“The club competes in various tournaments across the country and have been crowned champions across all versions of the game of touch throughout the clubs history.”
Why did you get involved with the Beach Rugby Series?
“This is the 1st time we are playing this version of touch (played 6 touch and 1 touch) - this is kind of a hybrid version, and after watching the Spring Series, we were more than keen on giving this initiative a bash. Also we aim on using this tournament as preparation for our other upcoming events.”
What are your thoughts on the Beach Rugby Series so far?
“So far we have been very impressed with the organisation and the quality of the tournament. The vibe is also very chilled. However, lets hope the guys can arrange a indoor complex on Camps Bay beach – in future - for those windy days.... with the help of sponsors of course. Alternatively have a wind surfing competition. We have been really unlucky with conditions.”
Who are the players to watch out for and why?
Zubair Sieed - aka Bairy
“One of the guys who has come through the ranks as a junior. Also represented SA at the last 6 touch World Cup in Australia. Short (fuse) and very explosive... excuse the pun.”
Uzair Slamang - aka Uzzie
“Still one of the junior players. Next generation of Slamangs (like his cousins before him) to represent the club. Lets hope he is as fit as he should be.... as we noticed in the beach tournaments, the sand tends to age the youngsters alot faster.”
Tariq Isaacs - aka Bobo
“Another one of the youngsters coming through the ranks. One of our internationally experienced players (currently in Malaysia). Let’s hope he comes back with some nice oriental moves, to spice up our game play.”
Lastly, anything else you would like to tell us about your team. Perhaps team dynamics?
“The mix of experience (as in VERY old) and youth makes for a very interesting next couple of weeks. We hope to grow week in and week out as we find our feet and adapt to this hybrid version of the game. The team is excited and ready to go.”
The Amazing Galaxy Warriors have impressed on the beach so far. They are definitely one of the teams in the running to be crowned as the BEACH KINGS OF CAPE TOWN come the 3rd December.