Development woes, well mine

23 Jul

It is no secret that South African junior football teams struggle at world stage. In fact, it seems though as we don’t have any junior teams. Recently I attended the launch of league formally known as the SAB U21 Regional League and I could not help wonder what exactly do we (the footballing nation) do with these youngsters when they are uncovered at tournaments and leagues like this one. Well I can just name Happy Jele, Mandla Masango, Sandile Ndlovu as some of the players that came from school/ development tournaments but where are the rest?
A while ago Safa “created” position which is meant to concentrate specifically on developing football in the country.
The Safa Development Agency is aimed at ensuring South Africa becomes one of the top three footballing nations in Africa and in the top 20 in the world. It’s been seven months since this was announced and unfortunately personally I haven’t heard what plans or actions have been taken by this department. Well, maybe I’m ignorant about what happens in local football but I doubt that is the reason I don’t really know what’s happening.
Now what I am hoping for is the mother body can get its house in order meaning they will take development serious. I mean why can’t we be like Brazil and others that groom their juniors from when they participate in competitions like the Danone Nations Cup. Speaking of which, what happened to the players that made up the team that won the 2007 tournament? I can’t seem to remember any of them but I’m definitely sure there was something extra special about them to actually beat France. Well, not forgetting that Bafana also beat France in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup.
Anyway, not to divert from the point at hand, when will we stop complaining of not being part of junior world tournaments because we don’t have teams that qualify for them? Now if we don’t have junior teams, how will we grow (or have) project 2020 if we don’t have people to compete then. Since we focus so much on the seniors, we won’t get anywhere.


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