The 2014 Nedbank Ke Yona Team which will face the current Nedbank Cup champions, Orlando Pirates was revealed at a spectacular event attended by football dignitaries, celebrities, media as well as families and friends of the Nedbank Ke Yona players.
Also known as the “Idols of Football,” the second season of the Nedbank Ke Yona Team search saw footballers from across the country respond to the call by Nedbank to prove that anyone can be extraordinary.
More than 43 000 total entries, and 30 000 unique entries were recorded this year during the national trials held earlier this year. In total 3 900 players were invited to the six regional trials and a select group of 48 players were chosen for the boot camps and various elimination rounds. Thereafter it has been months of rigorous training to prepare the final 18 man squad which was hand-picked by seasoned coaches Shakes Mashaba, Khabo Zondo, Owen Da Gama and Mike Mangena.
Teboho Lillane from the Free State could not hold back his tears as he described how Nedbank has enabled him to make his childhood dream of playing football at the highest level happen.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamt of being a football superstar and today, through Nedbank, my dream of playing professional football has finally come to life. This has been an amazing journey for all of us and I want to personally thank Nedbank for this amazing initiative that has helped me and my teammates fulfil our childhood dreams” said the 21 year old midfielder.
The squad will however have to quickly adapt to the excitement with their next and final training camp resuming on Monday, 25 August where the team will be fine-tuned ahead the clash against Orlando Pirates.
“As a bank for all, Nedbank remains committed to the communities we serve. I am pleased to see how we have developed men from different backgrounds into a formidable team which is ready to tackle any opponent. These men have risen to the occasion and demonstrated the discipline, talent and dedication required to be extraordinary. It is such people that inspire Nedbank to continue to empower current and future sporting stars and their communities with the resources they need to make their goals happen.” said Nedbank’s Divisional Executive for Group Marketing, Sydney Mbhele.
Coach Owen Da Gama expressed his full satisfaction on the selection of the team but also sent a warning to Orlando Pirates ahead of the match. “It has been a long but exciting journey for us all. We scouted these boys from around the country and spent months in camp with them. After all the hard work, we believe that this is the perfect squad to cause an upset against Orlando Pirates. “said Da Gama.
Catch Ke Yona “Making the Team” show every Sunday on SABC 1 at 14h00 to see the journey of these young men from across the country moving from unknown faces to football stars of the future.
2014 Nedbank Ke Yona Team: