Young wannabes impress

2016-09-29 06:00

It didn’t take long for the 100 aspiring footballers to impress coaches in the Vodacom NXT LVL Boot Camp underway at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre this week.

On Monday the players underwent shadow tests before going to the field for the coaches to monitor their basic skills.

The young girls and boys, between the ages of 14-16, were selected from 1000 hopefuls across the country who uploaded videos of themselves on the Vodacom NXT LVL website.

Those who made the cut were split into two groups of 50, under the watchful eyes of Lucas Radebe, Cyril Nzama and Simphiwe Dludlu while the second group was coached by Portia Modise, Mark Fish and Edward Motale.

Radebe said: “It was a successful first day. We’ve managed to look at the talent that we have. We have already identified some players with potential that we can work on. We want to see, those who impressed us, if they can keep it up.

They are learning more than just what’s needed on the field of play, like when I say that they must be on the pitch at 13h30, I don’t mean that they should be arriving. I mean that they should be ready to start. Those are some of the things that they are learning because they haven’t been in a stage where they have been coached properly. That’s why we are here. We want them to feel how it’s like to be coached by professionals, doing the right things in a good environment where they can enjoy themselves as well.”

There is plenty of motivation for them to impress. The group will be trimmed from 100 to 32 on Wednesday. The 32 who will stay behind will be grouped into two groups of 16 to play an exhibition match against each other on Sunday at 3pm at Tuks Stadium. The winning 16 will each get a full bursary at Tuks Sport High where they will complete their education. The 16 on the losing team will each get R50 000 paid towards their education which will be monitored by the Vodacom Foundation.

Upon arrival on Sunday, each player received a tablet, sneakers, boots and other training kit as they settled in the High Performance Centre.

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