SA youngster has chance to hone skills in Spain

2011-12-03 18:57

The name Austin Campher might not ring a bell for many South Africans now but that is sure to change soon.

Excitement has reached fever pitch in the leafy suburb of Ruimsig in Mogale City, the home of the 13-year-old who will this month jet out to Spain to improve his soccer skills in the country of the reigning Fifa World Cup champions.

At this tender age, the midfielder has already been compared to Barcelona and Argentina genius Lionel Messi by soccer connoisseurs.

The budding star made an impression on the Coronela Academy scouts where he underwent trials last month.

Campher’s coach, Ken Dartey, said Coronela is a coaching and development centre in Barcelona where players selected to join the programme are helped to develop the skills they need to eventually make the move to professional clubs.

Like many youngsters, Campher has had a soccer ball at his feet since the time he could walk.

He first donned a soccer jersey for the Pro Stars Football Academy in Ruimsig three years ago.

“It’s exciting that I was picked,” he gushed.

“I’m happy. South Africa is my country and I will never forget where I come from while abroad.”

It is a big commitment but young Campher will have his family by his side as they will be moving to Spain with him permanently next year.

His father Garry said: “It’s a sacrifice we are prepared to make for our boy. Our child has a God-given talent and we have to support him in his quest. He is still young and needs us.”

Dartey said his charge was always a step ahead of his peers.

He described his charge as a dependable, creative player with accurate passing, scoring and dribbling skills.

“He always stands out from the rest. He does things that even some of the more experienced players can only dream of and above all, he is an exciting prospect for the future,” enthused the coach.

Darty also hailed Campher for being an attentive learner who grasps things in a short space of time.

His mentor said it was exciting to discover raw talent that was good enough to be exported.

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