DURBAN U19 TOURNAMENT STARS SET FOR OVERSEAS TRIALS
*Caption: The Durban U19 Team
Written by: Lwazi Hlangu
Nine youngsters who played in the 2016 Durban U19 International Football Tournament are set to attend trials in Portugal and Scotland this year, the KwaZulu-Natal Academy announced on Friday via their Facebook account.
KZN Academy will have eight players attending trials overseas for the third successive year with Khanyisa Mayo, who won the Tournament’s Best Player and Top Scorer, joining them.
The KZN Academy players going to Portugal are Romario Morris (18), Simo Mbhele (17), Sanele Nene (18), Sibusiso Magaqa (18), Sphephelo Sithole (17), Dylan Stoffels (17) and Zola Jingxi (18).
Stoffels, Magaqa and Jingxi have already been registered by Amazulu for the 2016/17 National Frist Division season. The two were on first team duty on Sunday against Black Leopards in Usuthu’s first game of the season, with Jingxi playing more than 60 minutes while Magaqa remained an unused substitute.
Amazulu team manager Japhet Zwane said that they were not aware of the impending departure of the three youngsters.
“We don’t know about this thing with the KZN academy. I’m not going to talk about it. You can talk to them at their offices in Moses Mabhida Stadium,” said Zwane.
Also going to Portugal is KZN Academy Coach Sboniso Vilakazi, who will spend three weeks learning from the coaches at Sporting Lisbon.
Graeme Pratt, who said before the tournament he would like to play for Glasgow Rangers before scoring against them in the group phase, will have a chance to realise his dream as he’s the only one who will get to trial with them.
South African Football Association Technical Director, Neil Tovey, encouraged the youngsters to use this chance to showcase their skills in Europe.
“I think this is an opportunity for them to get out of the comfort zone, to go overseas, to go to foreign shores and to ply their trade and show how good they are and that will benefit us all,” said Tovey.