The first group of the 2017 Nedbank Ke Yona Team players are hard at work at various PSL teams undergoing month-long trials in the hope of securing professional contracts that could shape their futures and football careers.
The 18 players Ke Yona Team have been placed with PSL teams as part of Nedbank’s commitment to enabling footballers to realize their goals. The trials have been scheduled for September to October with 2017 Nedbank Cup finalists Orlando Pirates and winners SuperSport United accommodating two players each.
The Buccaneers are thrilled to be hosting goalkeeper Mduduzi Khumalo and defender/midfielder Elton Namuchua, with the club sending a heartwarming message to the two boys on their website recently.
Khumalo was one of the standout performers in the Ke Yona Challenge match against SuperSport United earlier this month and many pundits who witnessed his heroics in that game have tipped him for stardom.
SuperSport United have Kwazulu Natal born winger Zimele Zuma and Tembisa striker Thabang Ximba on trial. The players are currently rubbing shoulders in training with 2014 Ke Yona graduate Aubrey Maphosa Modiba as well as a number of Bafana Bafana internationals. Modiba has epitomized the life-altering nature of the Ke Yona initiative. The skillful and attack-minded left back has quickly made his mark in the South African football space and continues to captivate the nation with his consistent performances, scoring what turned out to be the winning goal in this year’s Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge.
Another player who put on an eye-catching display in the Ke Yona Challenge match was skipper Kamogelo “Valery Nahayo” Mogotlane who has travelled to the Mother City to link up with high-flying Cape Town City. The charismatic Mpumalanga-born player expressed his delight at the opportunity:
“Nedbank has really given the Ke Yona Team a great platform. I have promised myself to put my best foot forward, work hard and hopefully get a contract with a team as big as City.” concluded Mogotlane.
Excited by the arrival of the young defender was head coach Benni McCarthy who said: “He is a solid boy, young but determined. He is a future player, a rarity, a left-footed centre-back. You hardly get them these days. Once he gets a bit more accustomed to training and playing at this level, you know, maybe in a year’s time after being shown the ropes, he could turn into a real player. He is a great future prospect and I like him.” he concluded.
Kaizer Chiefs are expecting 19-year old winger, Mduduzi Manyama who is the youngest Ke Yona Team graduate from the 2017 group. The confident Soweto born Manyama has described the trial as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” which he is prepared to grab with both hands. Similarly to Amakhosi Head coach, Steve Komphela, the University of Johannesburg student believes in the power of education and has committed to excelling both on the pitch and in the classroom.
The Eastern Cape’s Makhosandile “Rantie” Plaaitjie who was voted the man of the match at the Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge after spearheading the Team’s attack will try-out at Kwa-Zulu Natal based, Golden Arrows. The centre-forward is hoping to be part of the solution to the country’s goal scoring problems but will have to prove himself against his more experienced counterparts at Abafana Besthende.
Since inception, over 20 Nedbank Ke Yona Team graduates have signed professional contracts.
2017 Nedbank Ke Yona Team Players’ Draft:
|KAMOGELO||MOGOTLANE||CAPE TOWN CITY FC|
|JUSTIN||MODIBA||MARITZBURG UNITED FC|
|KAGISO||RAMADIVHANE||CHIPPA UNITED FC|
|ZANOXOLO||MDULI||PLATINUM STARS FC|
|MAKHOSANDILE||PLAATJIE||GOLDEN ARROWS FC|
|BONGANI||SAM||BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC FC|
|ZIMELE||ZUMA||SUPERSPORT UNITED FC|
|BLESSEN||MAVUNDLA||FREE STATE STARS FC|
|MDUDUZI||KHUMALO||ORLANDO PIRATES FC|
|NJABULO||XULU||AJAX CAPE TOWN FC|
|THABANG||XIMBA||SUPERSPORT UNITED FC|
|MDUDUZI||MANYAMA||KAIZER CHIEFS FC|
|JABU||HLONGWANE||POLOKWANE CITY FC|
|VUYISILE||NDLEDJANA||BIDVEST WITS FC|
|KHAUHELO||RAMOTSOENYANE||MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FC|
|ELTON||NHAMUCHUA||ORLANDO PIRATES FC|