Giving young footballers a head start

The “dream team”, a squad selected from the Friendship Cup held at Brown’s Farm at the weekend.

Siyabonga Ndlebe, the tournament coordinator of the Friendship Cup, a talent identification tournament for young ballers, says he hopes his experience and connections as a scout will bear good fruits for many youngsters.

Ndlebe and his partners staged the under-10 and under-14 tournament at Brown’s Farm sports ground in Philippi, at the weekend.

The aim is not only to introduce competitive football to youngsters but also to find talent that would make up what Ndlebe calls a “dream team”, which will go on football tours around the country.

With his experience in football, he believes he will be able to lead the charge in finding a space in reputable football academies for footballers coming from underdeveloped areas.

At the end of the weekend, 20 players were selected to make the dream team that will travel the country playing against elite academies.

Ndlebe says it’s important to speed up the process of development at a young age. He says it’s for the betterment of the game to spread their wings and give the children opportunity to play all around the country instead of only focusing on playing academies in the city.

The selected players that made the dream team will get to play with the likes of Cape Town Spurs, Supersport, and Kaizer Chiefs academies.

“Our boys have been knocking on the doors of different clubs and academies and many never get selectioned so this gives the opportunity to those struggling to get those opportunities, ” said Ndlebe.

Young Pirates won the under-14 section of the cup.
Winners of the under-10s, All Stars.