Following a successful Try-Out phase across the country, a selection of 48 young hopefuls underwent an elimination bootcamp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, during the youth day weekend. The group which was selected on the back of the Try-Out phase was downsized to the finest mix of 30 future football stars South Africa has to offer.
Since the program’s inception, former Bafana Bafana mentors Shakes Mashaba and Owen Da Gama have teamed up with Mzansi’s development experts Mike “Sporo” Mangena and Khabo Zondo – creating a blend of versatile yet well-mixed team of selectors.
The award winning Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search has been well-received for its ability to plough through surface areas and enable the cultivation of young aspirant football players. The campaign has successfully harvested a crop of fully-developed professional players such as graduates Ian Chikowha, Bongani Mbuli and Aubrey Modiba to name a few.
Modiba featured for his side during the 2016/17 Nedbank Cup Final on Saturday, 24 June as Supersport United became the first club ever in the history of the Cup to succesfully defend their title when they played against Orlando Pirates.
The Ke Yona Team Search graduate scored his first Nedbank Cup goal in the 2017 last 16 game against Kwa Dukuza United, becoming the second Ke Yona Team Search graduate to score in a Nedbank Cup – this after striker Ian Chikohwa proved his worth by netting a spectacular goal in the 2016 campaign against a relentless Supersport United team.
Chikowha who captained the 2015 Ke Yona team, expressed his appreciation towards the intense Ke Yona bootcamp program, stating: “My abilities as a footballer were stretched and I can truly say that during the course of the program, I reached a certain level of maturity as a player. I no longer relied solely on my talent. The program really helped me to develop and grow fully, in ways I could not have achieved on my own. The best part of being a Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search graduate is the on-going support and guidance from Nedbank. I am excited to see the search continue to fulfil the dreams of other young men like myself.”
Chikowha is also thrilled about Nedbank’s latest initiative – the Nedbank Ke Yona App, “it is pretty cool because for the first time ever, people will get to see exclusive behind the scenes footage of what happens. Some of the most memorable lessons were taught to me at the bootcamp, I definitely think I will enjoy seeing videos from the bootcamp.”
The Bootcamp phase of the campaign is aimed at honing the players’ physical and mental well-being. Nedbank also enables players to See Money Differently through football, as a part of the bootcamp is dedicated to educating participants on how to sharpen their financial management skills.
Ultimately the Ke Yona Team Search is a program rooted in providing budding football stars with the necessary tools to blossom in a highly competitive industry
Dedicated experts are on-site at all the bootcamps and their role is to track and ensure the progress of all players from raw talent to being ripe for the picking. The final 18 players who will play against the Nedbank Cup Champions are directly selected from this boot camp.
These players will at the end of the program be drafted into PSL teams where they could be eligible for professional contract offers.
The next Ke Yona Team Search Activity:
|Boot camp 30||30 June – 2 July 2017||High Performance Centre, Pretoria|