Love them or hate them! At least for now they belong to 16 Premier Soccer League (PSL) and one National First Division (NFD) teams, thanks to Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search (KYTS).
These are the 18 finalists who made it through trails in 7 provinces, rose through the programme which included training and boot camps as well as multiple elimination rounds.
This is despite losing 2-1 against history-making current Nedbank Cup Champions, TS Galaxy last month in a pulsating match at Kameelrivier Stadium
The final drafting took place at the Nedbank headquarters in Sandton.
The organizers, reiterated that the KYTS football development programme seeks to unearth, incubate and support football development in South Africa by providing aspiring footballers with an opportunity to become professional footballers.
It was also stressed that, KYTS draft gets players closer to their dreams by giving them the opportunity to be placed within PSL and NFD teams, where they could potentially earn a professional contract.
Tobie Badenhorst, Nedbank Head of Sponsorships and Cause Marketing is on record arguing that, For Nedbank, the goal is to enable young footballers to follow their footballing aspirations.
“Getting to this point was no easy feat for the players but we believe we’ve equipped them with skills for on and beyond the pitch, to be able to make a success of their careers.
Pic sourced from sabc
“Nedbank is incredibly proud of the KeYona Team Search and the players, with this draft we’re taking it a step further, giving them the opportunity to showcase all they’ve been training for and to use the skills they’ve learned through this process to hopefully earn themselves a professional contract, Badenhorst argued.
Nthabiseng Matshega, of Nedbank, told this reporter on the sidelines, that it was a fantastic run thus far.
“This is a testimony that as a brand we are committed to invest money in a right direction. Some of them had to take study leave in order to fulfill their dreams.”
During the drafting, as the current Nedbank Cup Champions, TS Galaxy got the privilege of handpicking 2 players pre-draft, with the remaining 16 going to the various PSL clubs.
TS Galaxy’s picks were Aphiwe Maliwa and Sello Mochoeneng.
KYTS coach Doctor Khumalo said “I know it’s going to be a different environment where they’re going. Training and playing with players they admire will be quite an adjustment but they know they need to be calm and remember the lessons they’ve been taught through this KeYona Team Search process.”
Players have been drafted as follows.
Thulani Cele – AmaZulu
Kwanele Mfeketho – Black Leopards
Siwaphiwe Maso – Baroka FC
Nhlanhla Ntuli – Bloem Celtic
Christopher Maoto – Polokwane City
Blessing Chauke – Orlando Pirates
Thembelani Ndlovu -MamelodiSundowns
Luke Groep – Lamontville Golden Arrows
Thabiso Lebitso – Chippa United
Aphiwe Maliwa – TS Galaxy
Sello Mochoeneng – TS Galaxy
Enoch Puzi – Cape Town City
Blessing Mazubane – Stellenbosch FC
Nhlanhla Malinga – Bidvest Wits
Sive Gqezengele – Kaizer Chiefs
Phemelo Ncanywa – Martizburg United
Khanyiso Ginxa – Supersport United
Henry Lekhoathi – Highlands Park