Aspiring soccer players show skills

2018-05-29 06:01
Mark Fish addresses the hopeful soccer players before the trial, hoping to inspire them to boost their performance. PHOTO: Lisa Lottering

Mark Fish addresses the hopeful soccer players before the trial, hoping to inspire them to boost their performance. PHOTO: Lisa Lottering

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Roughly 120 soccer players competed against one another during the second leg of the Shield Sbonis’ iDiski regional trials at Ajax Cape Town in Parow.

Five players were selected at the trials and will compete against the top five from the other regions including Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg.

These players will compete at the final trials for a chance to train at the home of Chelsea Football Club in London where only three players will be selected.

Once the three players return, one deserving player will receive a one-year contract with the Orlando Pirates FC development team to continue a career in football.

Former Bafana Bafana defender Siphiwe Mkhonza, along with Dumisani Thusi and Orlando Pirates coaches, will scout for talented young players during the campaign.

“Shield South Africa is invested in the development of local football talent and through the Shield Sbonis’ iDiski campaign, we wish to demonstrate our support to those who know that winning comes with hard work and dedication,” says Gareth Marshall, Shield brand manager at Unilever South Africa.

“This opportunity will motivate players, but even if they fail they should continue,” says head coach Mkhonza.

He says the coaches don’t specifically look at positions, but rather for players with game insight, precision and understanding of the evolving game, he says.

“Youngsters often think they have a divine right to get things in life, but Shield is pushing them to see how far they can go,” says Mkhonza.

“This campaign is not just about football, it’s about developing players into men,” he says.

Former Orlando Pirates player Mark Fish says they’re looking for the next Bafana Bafana star.

“We need to develop players mentally, physically and emotionally to become footballers and also so that they can understand what it means to be a footballer,” he says.

Fish says the one-year contract with Orlando Pirates is a wonderful opportunity for any young aspiring footballer.

Fish says it’s fantastic to play football in South Africa, but why not aspire to play abroad? “As a footballer you never stop learning, and exposing yourself to international football can only be good for the development of South African football,” he says.

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