2018-08-29 06:02
Sipho Sibiya in action during an intensive preparatory training in Johannesburg ahead of the match against Free State Stars on 9 September. Photo supplied

Sipho Sibiya in action during an intensive preparatory training in Johannesburg ahead of the match against Free State Stars on 9 September. Photo supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The journey to football stardom beckons for aspirant player Sipho Sibiya via the 2018 Nedbank Ke Yona Team. The youthful player from the town Kuruman in Northern Cape is one of the lucky 16 players in the squad of the talent identification initiative sponsored by the bank which is one the largest established banks in South Africa.

Sibiya was one of the 16 peers who rejoiced making up the 2018 Ke Yona Team Search to tackle the Nedbank Cup defending champion Free State Stars on 9 September. Dubbed Ke Yona Challenge the match will be played at the Makhulong Stadium in Thembisa, near Johannesburg. The team of mainly u.23 players was announced recently, 8 August at a function held at the headquarters of the bank in Johannesburg.

For Sibiya (23), selection means he finally must let his muscle strength bring fruition to team’s success and the dream to be scouted by one professional teams in the Premier Soccer League. The team success will be to plot the downfall of Ea Lla Koto during the eagerly-awaited encounter which will test the ability of all players in the Ke Yona Team.

Sibiya is faced with assignment to give a good account of himself to reward the many hours spent sweating at intensive training at the High-Performance Centre in Pretoria.

His gruelling journey began with a long trip (800,8km return) from his current home in Kuruman to Bloemfontein to attend trials at the Dr RP Molemela Stadium. “I left home a day before the trials. I left home at about 05:00 and went to Bloemfontein where I slept over at my friend’s house. I attended trials the following day,” said Sibiya.

The one-day trials were held during April in the Free State capital city. Sibiya made lasting impression beyond convincing the coaches, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, Mike Mangena and Khabo Zondo – ultimately made into the Ke Yona Team. His talent for football was identified by the coaches who saw more than 16000 hopeful players who attended trials at five centres in the country.

Sibiya is versality to play in three positions, forward, both right and left wings stood him in a good stead. His ability, coupled with consistent form convinced the three knowledgeable coaches to select him for the 23 group from which the 16 players were chosen. Presumably coaches consider the young lad would be a suitable alternative to provide the team offensive options in an encounter which demands players with big match temperament.

Sibiya cut his teeth in the game playing for non-professional teams, such as Young Pirates, City Lions (SAB League clubs) and Real Hearts, a team campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League, a third-tier division run by the South African Football Association (Safa).


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.