by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – A team of South African youngsters is in France to represent the country at the Paris World Games.
They will further showcase their football skills in Sweden, completing their Vodacom NXT LVL-sponsored international soccer tour.
The young stars, aged 15 to 18, were successful in the NXT LVL’s football competition, which kicked off in 2016. The competition was launched to discover fresh soccer talent and provide a platform for young male and female stars to take their skills and passion to new heights.
The Vodacom NXT LVL soccer team’s journey started with 100 players selected from over 1 000 submissions. The initial process saw aspiring soccer stars upload a video of themselves performing one of four drills – categorically broken down according to positions (goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers).
The top 100 players with the most votes were then invited to the NXT LVL boot camp, where they were mentored by some of the country’s most renowned legends, including Andre Arendse, Mark Fish and Lucas Radebe.
A vast majority of the children selected for the competition come from underprivileged backgrounds.
The full scholarships to the Tuks Sports High School have enabled the young stars to flourish, more so given the international exposure they will receive by embarking on the soccer tour.
Among the prominent players in the junior team are Chad February (aged 17), Zico February (17), Agang Maphopha (15), Retang Maphopha (15), Lindokuhle Nobavu (17) and Duwy Selotola (18).
They were aiming high upon departing South Africa last Friday.
“We’ll definitely go through to semi-finals, and will be performing at our best throughout,” the budding stars stated.
They will return to South Africa on July 23.
Abey Mokgwatsane, Vodacom Managing Executive for Brand Marketing, expressed the company’s support for the young stars.
“We are so proud of the progress these young kids have made in developing their soccer abilities. They have endured a journey of hard work, sweat, even tears and all of their efforts have paid off in the end,” Mokgwatsane said.
– CAJ News