JOMO Cosmos owner coach, Jomo Sono, is renowned for his scouting talent as much as he is for the breath-taking football ability he possessed during his heydays.
The Black Prince, as he is also known in the football fraternity, has helped discover some of the country’s finest players.
The likes of Godfrey Sapula, Aaron Mokoena, Macbeth Sibaya and the late duo of Thomas Madigage and Phil Masinga are some of the big stars Sono unearthed.
Despite his team’s struggles in the National First Division (NFD), Sono continues to spot some of the best young players in the country.
His keen eye for talent and his wealth of football knowledge has led him to Brazilian second division club, Gremio Esportivo, partnering with his beloved Ezenkosi.
The relationship will see the two clubs exchange players, with four of Ezenkosi’s youngsters already preparing to join the Brazilian outfit next month.
Zuko Gxabuza, who has been part of the Ezenkosi family from an early age and plays for their U-17 side, was the first player handpicked by Gremio chairman Marco Capuano and former Orlando Pirates striker Pio Nogueira.
He will be joined by Silas Maziya, Onke Moletshe and Mpumelelo Zondi, who will join Gremio’s U-23 side next month.
Speaking at the partnership launch in Sandton, Joburg, yesterday, Sono said South African players have all the necessary skills to make it in Brazil, just as Arthur Zwane showed during his spell at Santos.
“We hope these boys will learn a lot there,” said Sono.
“They don’t know how fortunate they are to join Cosmos because here, as much as we want to get back to the PSL, we put them first.
“If an opportunity comes for a boy, we always allow them to leave because we know they have dreams.
“At the age of 17, I was already playing in Portugal and at 21, I was playing for New York Cosmos in America, so I know how big an opportunity this is for these players.”
Sono will also serve in the Gremio’s board, bringing his vast football knowledge to the club who are eager to return to Brazil’s top flight.
“Jomo is a very experienced man,” said Capuano.
“His vision is unmatched and he can wear many different hats but more importantly, he has a good heart and that is what we need at our club.”