Vasco has always been a strong, credible community-based club with a sound youth setup. But the identity of the club is shifting now that they have a link to a top club in Europe.
“We want to attract the best talent in the Western Cape area and by partnering with a club of Vitória de Guimarães’ stature, we believe that the Vasco development setup has just been given a massive boost in the right direction,” says Vasco’s majority shareholder Mario Ferreira.
“Previously where young players might have joined Vasco’s youth setup with the dream of making the first team, playing in the NFD and possibly the Absa Premiership, they now have a new ceiling. They can now aspire to reaching the top level in Europe too.”
Vasco’s partnership with the Portuguese club will see coaching education filter through from Vitória de Guimarães to the Parow Park club, which will result in stronger coaching networks, opportunities for players to train abroad and for a sharing of knowledge and technical expertise.
Vasco are now under the ownership of the TMM Group, whose CEO Mario Ferreira is a shareholder at Vitória de Guimarães and is passionate about giving back to the community and moving patiently into the top-flight of South African football.
“As TMM we want to put something back into the community and we understand that this club [Vasco da Gama] has a strong tradition. Football-wise, we want to have a structured approach and we are going to focus on both the professional side and the amateur setup,” says Ferreira.
“I’d like to help Vasco become one of the clubs in Cape Town that everyone wants to play for. I understand that this will take time, which is why for the next couple of years we will be working towards making this a club of choice for young players.”
Since TMM Holdings (PTY) Ltd became the majority shareholder of Vasco da Gama, only brothers Carlos, Paulo and Mario Das Neves stayed on as shareholders from the previous board of directors. The rest of the previous Vasco shareholders will no longer be involved with the club in any official capacity.
For now, the current Vasco technical team of Tony de Nobrega, Keenin Lesch and Kenny Gertse have remained leading the first team.