“I am very excited,” enthused Thobani Jacobs after being selected to come and trial with the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy.
After a week full of soccer clinics and a tournament, Kaizer Chiefs held successful trials for a group of Under-16 and Under-19 players on Saturday, 9 March.
It was the final day of a week-long soccer community project with the Argentinean company San Miguel in Addo Valley.
The actions and movements of the trialists were closely monitored by Sundra Govinder, Arthur Zwane and Jamie Schultz, all coaches of Chiefs’ youth development teams.
The talent identification was meticulously organised to find the best players to attend trials at the Village.
Jacobs plays on the right wing. He added: “This is my chance to become a professional player.” He played with the Under-19s. Jacobs is a die-hard Amakhosi supporter, whose favourite Glamour Boy is Khama Billiat.
Siybulela Mjeku was selected from the Under-16s group. The shy 15-year-old is an attacking midfielder. “I am happy to see Chiefs come here and scout for players, as PSL clubs don’t really come to Addo Valley. So the chances of being scouted and invited for trials are slim,” he said, before commenting on the chance to come and train with Amakhosi’s youth development, “that’s really nice.”
Chiefs’ youth development coaches had a day before, during the soccer tournament, already identified the striker Simnikiwe Mbande to join the development team at the Village for a trial.
“There is a lot of talent here in Addo Valley,” commented Zwane after the talent identification process was finished. “The selected boys carry the hope for this place.
“They are all mobile and explosive on the ball. What they still need to learn though, is what to do when they don’t have the ball. We will have a closer look at them soon at our youth development and make a decision.”