Ex-Bafana star Benson Mhlongo opens football centre for kids

2014-04-11 18:45

Former Bafana Bafana defender Benson Mhlongo has established a football centre.

Mhlongo, who plies his trade at Platinum Stars, has forged a partnership with professional fitness trainer Nathi Mazibuko to form the Diamonds Football Center.

The facility is in Kempton Park, east of Joburg, and takes players from Under-9 to Under-23.

“When I was out injured for a long time in 2009 and 2010, I developed an idea to share my football experience with kids who aspire to play the game,” said Mhlongo while telling City Press about the facility that boasts three full-size fields, club rooms, an education centre, sports medical centre and administration offices.

Mhlongo said, despite being a full-time professional player, he would still make time to be at the centre to assist other coaches.

“Nathi and I will be heavily involved in the project. We will mostly employ development coaches who have previous experience from having worked with some of the PSL clubs. But we are not closing doors to other aspiring coaches. Our centre is about teaching how to play the game.”

Mhlongo said registration was open and they intended to start officially next month.

“There is an annual registration fee across all the age groups. The money is not for us but to help with the running of the facility. The Under-9s to Under-15s register with R1?800 per year while the Under-17s to Under-23s join for R2?200. The players will get a T-shirt, identity access card and a goodie bag.”

Mhlongo said they were aiming to take in 60 players per age category, with three coaches overseeing them.

He encouraged interested parties to walk in at the facility.

“Our mission is to become the best and most highly productive high performance centre in the country on football development, fitness and personal development.”

» The centre is situated at 123 Highveld Road, Kempton Park.

» 072 195 5727 or email register@dfc.co.za

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