Supersport’s Katza in town to check out under-21s

SHIFAAN RYKLIEF

PPG Langa is among 16 teams from across the city taking part in the Green Smile Foundation’s inaugural under-21 soccer tournament, in Manenberg, at the weekend.

Former SuperSport United captain, Ricardo Katza, is one of three scouts from the Pretoria-based side who’ll be keeping a close eye on the players.

Katza, who has been involved with the club’s youth development programme for the past few years, says the under-21 age group is the perfect age for recruiting players because some only blossom at 19 or 20 years old.

“From a professional point of view, there is the Diski Challenge which closes the gap between the academy and the PSL; and this tournament will allow us the chance to spot those hidden talents that never came through an academy setup,” said Katza.

“There’s a lot of players that are late bloomers and who never made it into an academy when they were younger. Now, they will have their chance to shine. I only started playing soccer at under-12 level at Good Hope who changed their name to Westridge City. And, four seasons later I stopped playing club football and only played social soccer for my church.

“At the age of 20, my uncle set me up for a three-day trial at Seven Stars and that’s where my soccer took off. I then had stints with Ajax Cape Town, Hellenic and retired with SuperSport United in 2012,” he said.

The tournament kicks off on Friday May 27, with the games scheduled for 6.30pm, 8.15pm and 9.30pm.

* The 16 teams were divided into four groups, with the top two teams in each group progressing through to the quarter-finals.

Group A: Two Oceans Academy, Salt River Blackpool, JL Zwane and FC Tafelzucht.

Group B: Fire Fighters, Leiden Fusion Spurs, Rygate LFA and Glendene United.