AS the euphoria around the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search continues across the country, prominent coach Owen Da Gama has rang the alarm bell to the enthusiastic aspiring footballers that the selection for their final 48 is on 10 June.
Throughout the years the banking giant has been contributing towards football development in the country by using Da Gama, former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, Khabo Zondo and ex-Kaizer Chiefs player Mike Mangena to indentify and nurture raw football talent.
The project has worked miracles with almost 10 current Premier Soccer League players being produced through the Ke Yona Team Search campaign.
But it is now easy as the four coaches have to travel across the country at different stadiums where they have try-outs.
During try-outs they look at the townships footballers and identify a few that forms part of their desired 48 and then they will be trimmed into a certain number before creating a solid team of 18 players.
Here is how it works, following the try-outs, the Ke Yona team selects 48 players, and the group will go through a process called a Bootcamp where the number will be cut to 30 and then final 18.
The final 18 players will play a friendly against the winners of the Nedbank Cup competition, with this year seeing defending champions, SuperSport United play against Orlando Pirates at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on the 24th of June.
Da Gama on Monday told SunSport that they have had talented players since they started try-outs in Atteridgeville, Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Free State, Athlone Stadium in Western Cape, Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth and King Zwelithini Stadium in KZN.
Now it is the turn of Johannesburg where they will be visiting Rand Stadium on 10 June where they will be finalising the 48 headed towards the Bootcamp
“Joburgers must come in their numbers, as this is their last opportunity to realise their dream,” Da Gama said.
“The players must be made aware that this is the only opportunity where you will have four very good and qualified coaches monitoring your talents. It is a fair system where if one doesn’t see your potential then the other one will disagree. How it works is that footballers with majority votes then gets the nod and those with less aren’t selected. My wish is to have everybody on board but we can only cater for a few individuals.”