Safa to establish a new junior national team

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Safa vice-president Linda Zwane and the association’s technical director Walter Steenbok with Fifa talent development scheme coach Dean Selvey during the launch of a Safa Under-15 interprovincial tournament.
Safa vice-president Linda Zwane and the association’s technical director Walter Steenbok with Fifa talent development scheme coach Dean Selvey during the launch of a Safa Under-15 interprovincial tournament.
Oupa Mayisela


South Africa will have a new Under-15 national team by July this year. 

This is the assurance from Safa technical director Walter Steenbok following the launch of the Under-15 interprovincial tournament on Wednesday.

Steenbok said the pilot programme, which will start with the boys teams and later involve the young girls, seeks to develop the game from the bottom up.

READ: Podcast | Tim Spirit: Will Arthur Zwane bring the faith back for Chiefs supporters in Nedbank Cup?

The event will be played in Johannesburg on July 8 and it is in partnership with the Fifa TDS programme, a talent development scheme established by the world football governing body last year to offer assistance to its member associations.

South Africa is one of the nominated to test the project.

Steenbok revealed that Fifa had made $50 000 (R889 000) available for the event where nine provincial teams will play against invited academies.

The tournament will culminate with the selection of an Under-15 national side, he said.

In choosing South Africa, Steenbok cited a report compiled by Fifa, which raised a number of issues, key among them the country’s apparent lack of technical expertise. 

At the media launch at Safa House in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg Steenbok said: 

The Fifa report highlighted the national team, talent pipeline, the issue of the academy system and the percentage of funding that really goes onto the technical division. It also had a scathing attack on the technical expertise in terms of the country. Fifa then said, ‘use $50 000 and let’s see where you can really start'.

Steenbok recently completed 100 days in office since he was appointed by Safa to head its technical division.

The Under-15 project is the first major announcement since he assumed office late last year, a move that ended Safa’s long search for a technical director since former Bafana captain Neil Tovey vacated the post in June 2020.

Added the former player scout:

After careful consideration, we thought the key thing for us is to try to develop the game from the bottom. So, the Under-15 interprovincial tournament becomes very important where we want to create a new talent pipeline of boys who are born in 2008 and 2009.

READ: Steenbok: Refrain from social media scouting, give us proper scouting reports instead

In terms of the the format, Steenbok said: 

The tournament will play for one day.

The format will be a nine versus nine [games].We’ll try to use small fields because we really want to see the technical ability of the players and the exceptional talent that can really come out there.

In total, the teams will be made up of 19 members – 16 players, two technical members, a head coach and an assistant.

Also, in terms of the coaches’ qualification, we don’t want to exclude people who are qualified. The coaches who are there must possess the Safa level one and two [licences] from the old qualification system, as well as CAF A and B Licence holders.

So, we are really raising the standards.

Steenbok added that Safa will host a seminar on the eve of the tournament to “address a lot [of things] that will take South African football forward”.

He explained: This will involve the coaches who are part of the tournament. It’s more of a refresher [session] but again, to share the national playing philosophy, which is under refinement. We’ll also share the player profiling mechanism that we are using. We’ll also invite the national team coaches from [Bafana head coach] Hugo Broos downwards, who’ll come and share information.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Latest issue
Latest issue
All the news from City Press in PDF form.
Read now
Voting Booth
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula stated the ANC served court papers on Eskom and its former CEO, Andre de Ruyter, after his allegations of the involvement of senior ANC members in corruption at the power utility. Was the ruling party's move warranted?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
19% - 175 votes
81% - 732 votes