Star lives soccer dream

2016-11-09 06:00
Bongani Mbuli (20), who has signed a contract as a professional player. Photo: Supplied

Bongani Mbuli (20), who has signed a contract as a professional player. Photo: Supplied

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The dream of a professional football career has finally come to life for Mpumalanga-born defender Bongani Mbuli (20), who has signed a two-year contract with Bidvest Wits FC.

The hard-tackling defender’s performance during the 2016 Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge against Supersport United caught the eye of a number of Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs.

Mbuli now joins the long list of players who have partnered with Nedbank to make their dreams happen through the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search.

The young defender was unearthed and groomed by the four Ke Yona team coaches, Shakes Mashaba, Owen da Gama, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena.

He is steadily growing into a prized asset for South African football.

During his time under the tutelage of the coaches at the Ke Yona Bootcamps, the youngster was also equipped with key financial and lifestyle management skills by Nedbank to help him become a complete footballer on and off the field – as part of the Ring of Steel initiative.

Speaking at his new club’s training session, Mbuli thanked Nedbank for fast-tracking his football career.

I am glad that I took the opportunity of partnering with Nedbank and became one of many youngsters to graduate from the programme.

“I can proudly call myself a professional footballer and am very grateful to have an opportunity to play for a professional club,” said Mbuli.

Nedbank’s football sponsorship manager, Tutu Skosana, congratulated Mbuli for joining the growing list of Ke Yona Team Search graduates.

“We are proud of Bongani’s achievement.

It is moments like these that affirm our commitment to soccer and in particular, unearthing new talent.

“It seems like yesterday when Mbuli captained the Ke Yona Team Search in the 2016 Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge match against the reigning champions SuperSport United.

“His performance and dedication to soccer will set him in good standing on his way to achieving bigger things under the tutelage of renowned coach Gavin Hunt,” stated Skosana.

Mbuli follows in the footsteps of Sydney Masana (Bloem Celtic), Jarred Meyer (Jomo Cosmos), Ian Chikowa (Tuks) and Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United) who continue to thrive and make their mark in the PSL.

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