Young guns of ’15 shine

2016-07-13 06:00

MOLEFI NTSEKI, national u.17 coach, says it is pleasing to see his stars from the 2015 u.17 World Cup in Chile already starting to make their mark at Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs.

Ntseki’s side managed just a point from their three group games in Chile last year, but learnt much in the tournament.

Kobamelo Kodisang (16), made 13 appearances for Platinum Stars last season and is expected to have a bigger impact in the coming campaign, as coach Cavin stet Johnson rebuilds his team with youngsters.

Kodisang was only 15 when he debuted against Lamontville Golden Arrows last August, making him one of the youngest players ever to feature in the PSL.

Midfielder Athenkosi Dlala played for SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup semifinal against Baroka FC last season, while goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto has also signed a professional contract with the team.

Another midfielder, Sibongakonke Mbatha, has signed for Bidvest Wits and will be in line for a first-team debut in the coming campaign.

“It is very pleasing for me to see these boys coming through at PSL clubs and I am sure in the coming few seasons there will be many more,” Ntseki told KickOff.com.

“Credit must go to the coaches of these teams for providing the platform for them. It is vindication that we are moving in the right direction.

“It should serve as a motivation to the other players from that squad, as well as the new intake of u.17 players that we will select for the Cosafa u.17 Championships in Mauritius later this month.

“It says to them: ‘If you have the talent, the dedication and you work hard, your chance will come whatever your age.’ ”

Ntseki has cast his net wide in search of a new group of u.17s that he hopes will qualify for the 2017 World Cup in India, taking players from the South African Football Association (Safa) interprovincial tournament that was held last year, as well as inviting 67 players of academies from across the country to try out.

KickOff.com

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