The Nedbank Ke Yona Team and Bafana Bafana head coach, Shakes Mashaba believes that the Ke Yona Team has a bright future ahead of them if they continue working hard. The Ke Yona Team recently completed an intense week long training camp at the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre.
The boys have been hard at training in anticipation of an exciting clash against the 2014 Nedbank Cup Champions in September where their football dreams are set to come alive.
The Ke Yona Team initiative is a brainchild of Nedbank which was introduced in 2012 to help unearth the country’s next football heroes by providing a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity. The 2013 edition saw some of the Ke Yona Team talent being scouted by top PSL and NFD clubs after an impressive performance against the then Nedbank Cup Champions, Kaizer Chiefs. Now in its second edition, the Ke Yona Team coaches believe that this year will be no different.
This year’s talent was discovered across KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo, Western Cape and Gauteng by Shakes Mashaba, Khabo Zondo, Owen Da Gama and Mike Mangena. As the countdown to the big clash against the Buccaneers continues, Shakes Mashaba is excited about the future of these boys and believes that the match against Pirates will serve as a launching pad to their footballing careers.
“As a coach, it gives you unexplainable joy when witnessing a player that you discovered exceling and eventually making it into the professional ranks. The Ke Yona Team is an initiative that is quite essential to the growth of our football. So many of our players battle to make it into professional football and this is not because of their lack of talent but were just not fortunate enough to be identified,” says Mashaba.
After more than 30 000 try outs, the squad has been trimmed down to 23 players over the past five months.