The young and gifted generation

2012-12-16 10:01

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Jabulani Shongwe rates among a few positives that came out of Mamelodi Sundowns’ gloomy start to the current Absa Premiership campaign.

His former academy coach, Ted Dumitru, described him as a “special type of a talent and a rare South African breed”.

Nicknamed “Jefefe” by his peers, Shongwe (22) has the confidence to take the defenders on, packs a hard shot using both legs and has a good technique on the ball.

When City Press profiled him two years ago, Dumitru was among those who had ­predicted that the lad from Witbank in ­Mpumalanga would be next in line to be ­promoted to the Brazilians’ first team after exciting centre-back Siyanda Xulu.

This was after Shongwe had impressed in leading the Sundowns Under-19 to the 2009 Metropolitan ­Premier Cup in Cape Town.

He was first handed his Premiership break last season by former Sundowns coach Antonio Habas. But he has only enjoyed a regular run under the recently fired Johan Neeskens.

Age: 20

Club: Ajax Cape Town

Position: Defender

Profile: Lebusa is not one of those well-built defenders in the PSL, but he makes up for his slight frame by being a ball player.

The lad from Welkom possesses so much energy, he likes surging forward from left-back and delivering crosses. Lebusa, also a

product of the Ajax youth academy, was among the scorers in Ajax’s 3-2 win over Chippa United a fortnight ago.

 Age: 21

Club: Bloemfontein Celtic

Position: Striker

Profile: Most opponents have fallen victim to Manzini’s laid-back attitude.

His composure on the ball, coupled with a good vision and an eye for goal, contributed immensely to Celtic winning the Telkom Knockout final. Manzini came through the ranks at Harmony Sports Academy under Molefi Ntseki, who is now the club’s head of development.

Age: 21

Club: Mamelodi Sundowns

Position: Defender

Profile: Mabaso is the type of a player with ­surprises coming from the back, given his mobility.

He is quick in anticipation and these attributes are the reason he has been a regular at the right-back slot, ahead of his academy team-mate, Doctor Mampuru.

Mabaso was handed his professional debut by former coach Johan Neeskens in the MTN8 Cup in August.

Age: 23

Club: Black Leopards

Position: Defender

Profile: Dzaga played in almost half of Leopards’ league matches last season, but his real break came this season, where he has featured significantly in Lidoda Duvha’s rearguard.

His never-say-die attitude is inscribed in his aggression when he fights for ­possession of the ball. He is also quick off the mark when he launches overlaps during the counterattacks.

Age: 23

Club: University of Pretoria

Position: Midfielder / striker

Profile: Ngoma made quite an entry on the big stage when he scored four goals in AmaTuk’s 5-1 demolition of Ajax Cape Town in September.

His runs off the ball and pace are the assets that make Ngoma one of the elusive attacking midfielders in the league, despite his limited experience.

Age: 23

Club: SuperSport United

Position: Defender

Profile: “Rossie” has featured regularly in coach Gavin Hunt match day selections, playing in 50% of United’s league games.

Pietersen’s high work rate, aerial strength and energy on the overlap gives United an added dimension.

He was one of the best performers for Chippa United when the Cape Town club won promotion to the PSL.

He is a ­development product, having come through the ­Hellenic Youth and Old Mutual Academy structures.

Age: 23

Club: Free State Stars

Position: Midfielder

Profile: Nomandela is blessed with pace, and his close ball control affords him the ability to pierce through defenders and set up his strikers.

Stars coach Steve Komphela has often deployed him to be in control of the midfield.

Together with Togo midfielder Dove Wome, ­Nomandela has scored goals that gave

Ea Lla Koto maximum points lately.

Age: 20

Club: Ajax Cape Town

Position: Midfielder

Profile: A product of the Ajax youth system, Losper has been one of the shining lights for the Urban Warriors amidst the team’s struggles.

He has the ability to read the game and his fighting spirit has won Ajax many battles in midfield.Losper’s late goal against Maritzburg United gave Ajax their fourth win of the season.

Age: 23

Club: Bloemfontein Celtic

Position: Midfielder

Profile: Gamildien is one of the busiest players in the Celtic midfield.

He likes to be involved and he always digs in to get the ball at his feet.

A good passer of the ball, Gamildien also takes shots at the goalpost from any range.

These capabilities came to the fore when he helped Celtic to the Telkom Knockout trophy a fortnight ago.

He is a sure ­contender for the Telkom KO Player of the ­Tournament.

Jabulani Shongwe rates among a few positives that came out of Mamelodi Sundowns’ gloomy start to the current Absa Premiership campaign.

His former academy coach, Ted Dumitru, described him as a “special type of a talent and a rare South African breed”.

Nicknamed “Jefefe” by his peers, Shongwe (22) has the confidence to take the defenders on, packs a hard shot using both legs and has a good technique on the ball.

When City Press profiled him two years ago, Dumitru was among those who had ­predicted that the lad from Witbank in ­Mpumalanga would be next in line to be ­promoted to the Brazilians’ first team after exciting centre-back Siyanda Xulu. This was after Shongwe had impressed in leading the Sundowns Under-19 to the 2009 Metropolitan ­Premier Cup in Cape Town.

He was first handed his Premiership break last season by former Sundowns coach Antonio Habas. But he has only enjoyed a regular run under the recently fired Johan Neeskens.

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