The journey of the remaining 23 players in the Nedbank Ke Yona Team has been one well-travelled by each one of the participants. As they are about to reach their final destination of development, 18 of the players will be announced at a function to be held at Nedbank Head Quarters, Sandton on Thursday, 10 August 2017.
The selected squad will crossover from pure talent and travel a road not taken by many as professional players. Furthermore, the 18 budding stars will also be drafted into South Africa’s top tier teams where they will have the opportunity to prove themselves.
The successful trialists are all eagerly awaiting the once in a lifetime fixture against a thriving Supersport United team with hopes of being the first Ke Yona Team to win the Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge.
The talent identification programme is currently in the Bootcamp 23 phase which is highly intense and like previous camps, exposes players to a variety of activities that are crucial to their football development such as media training and financial management.
Each one of the final 18 players in the team will be given the same platform that was once upon a time, given to the likes of Supersport United defender, Maphosa “Postman” Modiba – it is now up to the players to challenge themselves and pursue greatness.
Speaking ahead of the PSL Draft, Maphosa is confident the Ke Yona Team will not be an easy team to play against, stating: “The players will be nervous but as soon as they get to showcase their talent, I think they will be all over us – they have been coached by experienced coaches and underwent hectic training sessions which have prepared them for the professional level.”
Many of the graduates who are drafted into the PSL teams, like Maphosa, have successfully pinned professional contracts and are well integrated into their teams. In 2015, defensive midfielder, Thamsanqa Gwabeni was drafted into Platinum Stars and is steadily establishing a solid position in the team. Leading to the Team announcement on Thursday, Gwabeni and Maphosa are amongst the graduates which the current crop of players are hoping to emulate.
A multitude of the players who are currently in the training camp shared the same sentiment that selectors have entreched an attitude of willingness and winning in them.
The Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge is scheduled for the 3rd of September 2017. Venue will be confirmed in due course.