Academies are the backbone of youth teams

2015-01-11 15:00

Unfancied clubs SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits have proved to be the main suppliers of players to ­national teams heading into continental competitions in the next few weeks.

The two outfits each have 10 players that have been called up across the senior and junior ­national teams.

This is more than the number of players chosen from prominent clubs Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando ­Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, which each had seven of their players called up.

But it is at the national youth level where Matsatsantsa a Pitori dominate – nine of their players form the South African Under-17 (Amajimbos) and Under-20 (Amajita) provisional squads ahead of the CAF Youth Championships.

Both of United’s academy goalkeepers, Dumisani Msibi and Mondli Mpoto, are the first-choice keepers for Amajita and Amajimbos, respectively. This further proves that, after Chiefs, SuperSport are home to the best keepers in the country.

Msibi – who was promoted to SuperSport’s ­senior team this season – is one of the club’s six academy graduates currently in the Pretoria-based team’s Absa Premiership squad.

The Bafana rookie made his debut for SuperSport last month and entered the senior national team for the first time against Côte d’Ivoire in ­November.

While most PSL clubs are often criticised for failing to give their youngsters a chance at breaking into their first teams, SuperSport and Wits academies have been prominent features of the two clubs in the past decade. Closer inspection reveals that some of the big-name players within the two clubs – and across the PSL clubs – began their careers at their academies.

Wits academy is headed by former players at the club – Stanton Fredericks, Glen Salmon and Peter Rabolele.

Interestingly, Salmon spent the better part of his playing career at SuperSport, while Fredericks also had a loan stint with the club.

Another common factor between the two clubs is coach Gavin Hunt, who joined Wits from SuperSport in 2013 after seven seasons – and three PSL titles – with Matsatsantsa a Pitori.

Now SuperSport and Wits carry the nation’s hopes as Bafana, Amajita and Amajimbos build up to their respective continental championships, starting with the Africa Cup of Nations in ­Equatorial Guinea next weekend.

Former SuperSport striker David Notoane and erstwhile Wits keeper Wendell Robinson are in charge of the Amajita, which are preparing for their Youth Championship in Senegal from March?8 to 22. The Under-20s started camp this week and were due to play a Qatar select team in Doha yesterday. They will then proceed to St Petersburg in ­Russia for the Russian Commonwealth tournament, which takes place from January 15 to 26.

Meanwhile, Amajimbos also convened for their training camp this week in a build-up to the Youth Championships in Niger from February 15 to March 1.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.