Trial players look to future

2017-11-01 06:01
Thabo Mpholo from Welkom has been trailing at AmaZulu for two months.Photo: Supplied

Thabo Mpholo from Welkom has been trailing at AmaZulu for two months.Photo: Supplied

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The 18 hopeful players of the Nedbank Ke Yona team will complete their trials at Premiership clubs this month.

The players’ journeys to stardom began in April this year with identification by selectors Shakes Mashaba, Mike Mangena, Owen da Gama and Khabo Zondo.

The gruelling trials at their 16 chosen clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are crucial to their journey to stardom. The 18 players reported to the PSL clubs they are attached to in September. The programme has yielded positive results for the 2017 Ke Yona team captain Kamogelo Mogotlane, who has signed a professional contract with Cape Town City, led by retired Bafana Bafana goal-getter Benni McCarthy. This realised Mogotlane’s dream of playing in the professional rank.

For some hopefuls, including the Free State born Thabo Mpholo, the dream lives on to sign as a professional. He is currently on trial at Durban-based AmaZulu, while his peer, Vuyisile Ndledjana, is on trial at Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg.

Mpholo (23), who hails from Welkom, has been trailing at AmaZulu for almost two months. He started earlier in September and has been training with the first team.

According to the left-winger, things are looking positive to sign for either the first or reserve team of AmaZulu. This possibility followed the team enquiry at his club, Sibanye Golden Stars, which currently campaigns in the Free State stream of the ABC Motsepe League.

“I’m currently waiting to get feedback from the club and I’ll then take it from there,” he says.

Mpholo was in action for the Ke Yona team, which lost by 2 – 1 to the Nedbank Cup double defending champions SuperSport United on 3 September at the Makhulong Stadium.

Following good performances, Da Gama maintains there is an abundance of talent among the youth in South Africa.

“A lot of talented players are falling by the wayside without being scouted by clubs in the professional ranks. Sometimes it is luck for some players while others give their best performance on the day or during the programme.

“The important thing is that players should not lose hope, but must continue trying even after completing their programme at the respective PSL teams. Consistency in performance and focus is fundamental in realising the dream of playing at professional level,” says Da Gama.

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