South Africans make their mark in the English Premier League
There are currently 5 players registered with the English Premier League clubs who are eligible to play for Bafana Bafana. Nikola Tavares (Crystal Palace), Bradley Cross (Newcastle United), Kgaogelo Chauke (Southampton), Max McMillan (Leeds United) and Khanya Leshabela (Leicester City) are players registered with their clubs under 21 teams for now.
Sports Journalist and news editor Myron Naicker believes that having South African footballers in the English Premier League is a plus for football in South Africa due to the history of previous South African footballers who have played there.
Naicker believes that South African players who play in England have an advantage. However, he also believes that South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) is of a high standard and produce good footballers but is negatively impacted due to poor management and lack of support from South African Football Association
Durban footballer Thinabantu Shozi who plays for Pinetown based Squash FC who competes in the SAB league says that it motivates him to hear of South Africans playing in the EPL.
“It gives me hope. Recently, South Africa has been overlooked by the bigger leagues across the world. Now that we as a nation have a growing representation in a top league like the EPL it may encourage further recruitment of South Africans aboard,” said Shozi.
He also believes that playing in the EPL would allow a footballer to improve his skills thus also helping to improve the South African football
“Playing in the English Premier League will enable a player access to the best facilities and coaches in the world so naturally you would add value to our national team. It can also allow more exposure through increased scouting of South African players”, stated Shozi.
Picture: Leicester city official website