KZN ACADEMY BEMOANS THE LACK OF TALENT AT DURBAN TRIALS
Written by: Lwazi Hlangu and Thabiso Goba
The KZN Football Academy hosted U15 open trials at the Berea Rovers Sports ground for young hopefuls this weekend.
As part of the South African Football Association’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, the academy is required to participate in SAFA’s development leagues, boosting grassroots football.
While the turnout was impressive with 363 trialists turning up, veteran Coach Vini Vilakazi was sceptical with the talent on display.
“It’s still a long process but I can tell you 1 or 2 players that were here have a very bright future,” he said.
The academy’s Administrator, Mbali Ngcobo, said real talent is in the rural areas, not Durban.
“The only challenge is that there is no talent in Durban. The only place where there’s talent is in rural areas but they don’t have money to come to these trials,” she said.
“This year we won’t be able to do this thing of going per region because sponsors pulled out after the cancellation of this year’s U19 Tournament,” added Ngcobo.
The U19 tournament has been the flagship for the academy with a number of success stories, particularly Thabo Cele (19) who now plays for Portuguese giants Benfica.
Of the 363 that tried their luck, only 11 were successful.
Vilakazi said that he has been a professional coach for over fourteen years and South African football still has a long way to go in terms of technical coaching and investment before they are at the level of their European counterparts.
“There’s a lot that need to be done especially tactical work by the coaches. You have to understand that our market is Europe so the way we scout talent has to be in line with them and the way we play,” said Vilakazi.
*Caption: Some of the 11 boys who passed their trials signing their preliminary contracts.