Nkosana Bruce Hollow, 28, describes himself as being from “the dusty and dangerous streets of Langa”.
Hollow, also a qualified cricket coach, is a managing director and under-10 football coach at Onesimo Academy and a Programme Officer at Amandla Edufootball in Crossroads.
He has been involved with football since 2013 when he was doing his first year in coaching science at ETA College. “I was inspired by Dave Waters, Ubuntu Football Academy director,” he said.
As things are slowly getting back to normal on the sports front, following a long period of lockdowns, Hollow took time to assess how far we’ve come in terms of coaching and nurturing young talent.
He believes that our sport, especially at development level, is in trouble and something needs to be done urgently. This, he said, was because some of the people involved tend to have other interests, other than what they should be doing – developing talent.
“Most local coaches don’t want to move with the times. We don’t want to invest in ourselves as coaches because we have the ’I know football’ syndrome.
“I’m saying ‘we’ because I’m part of the problem. I’m not perfect and I don’t know everything. We recently created a Local Coaches’ Association with the hope to educate each other about coaching children because parents have put so much trust in us with their children,” he said.
Hollow is critical of the club owners and coaches who put their own interests ahead of the young players’ development.
He noted that Cape Town has the best talent in the country, in terms of young players coming through the ranks but the problem lay in what was being done with that talent.
“The problem starts with coaches and club owners assuming that they own children because most talented kids have missed out on opportunities because ‘the club has to benefit’. We would be in a very good position to produce great players if the local professional clubs would give back to communities by educating local coaches.”
Having said that, however, Hollow also noted that there are many people in our communities who are working hard to improve the sport. Among them are Bayanda Sikiti, Thandolwethu Nonxuba, Phakamani Mxabeli, Anelani Bungane, Nzulu Sangqu, Nkosinathi Magida, Siya Maloka and Gabriel Nkanti. “These are people that I get motivation and support from,” he said.
Looking ahead, he said his short term goal is to make sure that he produces under-10 players with the right technique.
“My long term goal is to create more safe spaces for children and revive football at local schools.”