Its official! The final 25 players will enter the final training camp to take the next step in their journey towards a potential professional contract and realizing their aspirations of one day playing in the Premier Soccer League.
Organizers believe that, it has already been a rigorous journey for the young players, from the trials around the country where they gave their all, to Boot Camp under the watchful eye of three coaches – Khabo Zondo, Doctor Khumalo and Jerry Sikhosana.
Football fans have also been treated to all the joys and inspirational moments that goes into making this team with the hit NedbankKeYona Team Search television show screening every Thursday night at 9.30pm on Mzansi Magic.
The final last 18 players are expected to be announced later this month live on the same show.
The NedbankKeYona Team will lock horns with the current Nedbank Cup champions, TS Galaxy, in a KeYona Challenge next month.
It’s a foregone conclusion from the organizers that before then, there is much work to do for the players to prove their qualities on and off the pitch, and show that they have what it takes to play football professionally as they aim to impress the coaching trio.
“It has been a wonderful journey for these players so far, but it has also come with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It is never easy to tell players that they have not made the next stage but it is our job as coaches to produce the best team possible and find the right combinations that we believe will be successful,” said Zondo.
Khumalo echoed his sentiments, saying: “We have had to let some excellent players go since we can only have 25 for this Training Camp. It will be difficult and I would just like to encourage those that don’t make it, to keep working hard to make their ambition of becoming a professional player a reality.”
“If it comes down to a choice between two players of similar ability, then we look to see who has the most hunger and desire to succeed. I would encourage all the players to never give less than 100 percent, because that is what is needed to be a professional soccer player,” said Sikhosana.
Tutu Ntuli, Football Sponsorship Manager at Nedbank is on record stressing that, this is the final step before 18 players fulfil their goals and aspirations and graduate to making the NedbankKeYona Class of 2019.
“It was heart-breaking seeing 23 players go home in the previous Camp. I am glad that they were afforded an opportunity to be a part of a professional set up and return home having also been skilled in life and finance, which will remain a part of them for the rest of their lives.”
See below the list of players for the NedbankKeYona Team Search Training Camp.
Kylo Botha (East London), ThulaniCele (Umlazi), Blessing Chauke (Malamulela), KhanyisoGinxa (Kwazakhele), SiveGqezengele (New Brighton), Luke Groep (Amalinda), MpilonhleKhanyezi (Pietermaritzburg), SiphamandlaKlassen (King Wiliamstown), ThabisoLebitso (Sebokeng), Hendry Lekhoathi (Kimberley), NhlanhlaMalinga (Evaton West), AphiweMaliwa (Gugulethu), Christopher Maoto (Sekhung), SiwaphiweMaso (Mthatha), Blessing Mazubane (Menlowood), KwaneleMfeketho (Langa), SelloMochoeneng (Mahwelereng), PhemeloNcanywa (Kimberley), ThembelaniNdlovu (Mooi River), SelloNgoetjana (Seshego), LwandaNombela (Mandalay), NhlanhlaNtuli (Estcourt), Enoch Puzi (New Brighton), Michael Radebe (Sasolberg), SinqobileShozi (Port Shepstone).
Did you know?
TS GALAXY is the first team from the lower league to win the Nedbank Cup.
Info supplied by Levergy.