AFTER three months of try-outs throughout the nine provinces, Nedbank Ke Yona team coaches have made their selection of 48 players who will form part of the boot camp.
Players reported for boot camp on Friday and they will be based at the High Performance Centre.
They will train under the watchful eye of former Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, Under-23 coach Owen da Gama, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena.
They will also play friendly matches as part of the preparations.
Both players and the coaches have a huge task in their hands now.
The quartet coaches needs to select cream of the crop when cutting down the squad from 48 to the final 18-man team that will represent the Ke
Yona team when they face Nedbank Cup champions SuperSport United or Orlando Pirates in September.
Players will also need to bring their A performance to prove why they deserve to be part of the team.
Former Ke Yona team captain, Ian Chikohwa who is now playing for University of Pretoria in the National First Division, has given advice to the young prospects that made it to the boot camp.
The 21-year-old striker said: “All players should grab this opportunity with both hands because this is where the real competition begins in the Ke Yona team.
“They should know that everything is possible through hard work.
“Such opportunities come once. It’s not going to be an easy journey, they will have to work hard and follow the coaches’ instructions in order to become one of the success stories.
“They should stay focused and improve on a daily basis. They’ll also need to be strong mentally, only the fittest will survive when the coaches start trimming the squad.”
Chikohwa captained Ke Yona team in 2015 when they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.
This is the fifth edition of the Ke Yona team search, and it has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2013, producing the likes of
Aubrey Modiba who went on represent Mzansi in the Olympics in Brazil.
Other players, who are the graduates of the Ke Yona team, includes Luthando Sixhaso, Thamsanqa Gwabeni and Jarred Meyer.