Basics go a long way

2016-03-23 06:00
JARRED MEYER, graduate of the Nedbank Ke Yona team, in action during the Ke Yona Challenge against Mamelodi Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria last year September.               Photo: Supplied

JARRED MEYER, graduate of the Nedbank Ke Yona team, in action during the Ke Yona Challenge against Mamelodi Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria last year September. Photo: Supplied

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YOUTHFUL footballer Jarred Meyer is living proof that mastering the basics in football goes a long way.

His ability to master the basics for 15 minutes during the gruelling trials of the Nedbank Ke Yona talent search turned his dream to play professional football into reality.

Meyer trialled in his home town of Bloemfontein and his good display saw him selected by a panel of coaches into the 18-man squad of last year. He encouraged his peers to emulate him during the talent search trials that are to be held countrywide, starting in April.

“It is important to give your best and be a team player, because football is a team sport,” said Meyer. His ability impressed the coaches who selected him into the Ke Yona Team and he ultimately signed for the professional team, Cosmos. The 18-man squad played against Mamelodi Sundowns.

“The talent search is a great opportunity. It has given me my big break to play professional football,’’ said Meyer.

In his case, the bank-sponsored initiative gave him a second chance to play in the professional league after being unsuccessful at first.

“My first chance came when I signed a pre-contract with Free State Stars in 2013. But then I broke my left leg four days afterwards at the club’s training. Coach Steve Komphela, who had signed me, was also sacked, ending my dream,” Meyer explained.

Meyer’s journey continued, with him attending trials at Jomo Cosmos, a club owned by one of South Africa’s football greats, Jomo Sono. The trial at Cosmos was a continuation of the bank-sponsored talent identification initiative.

“The sponsor conducted a draw for all the selected boys. Then I pulled Cosmos, a team most of the boys never wanted to end up at. My peers laughed at me after I had pulled Cosmos. The reason was simple: the club’s failure to stay permanently in the premier division,” he said.

Meyer impressed coach-owner Sono and he ultimately offered the Bloemfontein lad a one-year contract.

“It was a blessing in disguise attending the trials at Cosmos, because that opened doors for me to play professionally,” said Meyer.

The left-foot player currently plays for the Cosmos junior team campaigning in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge Competition.

Meyer graduated at the University of the Free State (UFS) with a BA General Management degree. He previously played for second-tier side Bubchu United and the Kovsie football team that took part in the Varsity Cup during the 2013-’14 football season. Meyer looks up to his childhood icon and ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Registrations for the 2016 Ke Yona team search is open and interested male players between the ages of 18 and 23 can simply dial *120*KEYONA# or *120*539662# and follow the easy steps to register.

The trials will start in April.

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