Youth Development overview
Youth Development overview

Posted in News on May 20, 2002.

In the next edition of Amakhosi magazine, Youth Academy coach Farouk Khan his review of the season for the development sides and his expectations for next season.

Overview on Youth Development by Farouk Khan

Well I think it’s been a very successful season for our Youth Academy. The youngsters did very well in their leagues. We have just started a new league for all our divisions from under-13 to the reserve and the teams have really done well.

The reserve won three and drawn one, the under-19 and under-13 won four matches while the under-15 lost one match and that’s the only blemish so far. We still have a long way to go.


We had a good tournament for the under-15 and under-17 and the trip to Cape Town for the Metropolitan Cup. The boys played wonderfully in Cape Town and it was really a successful trip.

Of late we also played a memorable game against Linda Buthelezi’s AmaHopefuls it was a good experience not because it was on TV. The pitch was very bouncy and the opponents we played against were youngsters from rural areas.

It was a very physical game, which was a good experience for the youngsters in the development. A lot of these youngsters will be exposed to such kind of conditions when playing for the national teams and we are trying to expose them to as many possibilities in football as possible.

Possible promotions…

I spoke to Muhsin the other day and he asked me who was ready for promotion. There’s a few players who are ready. However, I don’t think we should rush the process as we have a huge task to win the Premier League title next season.

Without putting unnecessary pressure on the coach to field youngsters as he already has quite a number.

Like you heard or seen if you were in Kimberly youngsters like Gerald Sibeko who is from the Academy played very well. That is very encouraging because you could see that perhaps next season he could be a probability to feature regularly in the first team.

From the Academy there’s a number of outstanding players like Buti Sithole and Cheseman Mkhize. But as I said I do not think we should rush them because we have a good development structure and the players are coming through systematically.

And I most cases we should give ourselves around five years to develop a player. These youngsters have been with us for about three years so I think we still have a little time to play with and I think it’s important that we utilise that time effectively. This will help these players in that when they get to the Premier League they will be fully developed.

There are cases where youngsters come to us when they are 16 and you would find that they had missed out a few stages so we need to catch up with those stages and that is why at times it takes a little longer than the norm.

But the encouraging thing is that our under-13 has a number of exceptional players there. And I think what coach Terror is doing is that he is laying a foundation that we are going to build on in the next few years. For the time being we are very happy with what is coming through for the future looks even brighter as we will have players in this team for at least seven years.

Players on loan…

We loaned out a few players and the other day I was very impressed while watching soccer round-up and saw George Ramphele scoring for Dynamos. The youngster has been with us at the Academy and he is now getting his scoring touch. His coach was concerned and said to me it seems now that George is scoring we will call him back.

But I said we will see, as you know we are looking at buying a top striker and discussed with Muhsin that we need to strengthen our squad with a good central defender, a good midfield organiser and a good striker.

I think to a certain extent the coach will offload some players and replacement with better quality. If you look at the log we drew 13 matches and if you convert that into points we could have collected 39 points if we won those matches.

And from that perspective we should be patient about the players we have loaned out and constantly monitor them. Having worked with them I know for a fact players like George Ramphele are going to be a big name in future. He is only 22 now and I think he still has one or two years to prove himself.

Overall we loaned out about 10 players but we are not calling them back yet and there’s a probability that some of the players in our first team might be loaned out.

Low points…

For us it was the fact that the our team did not finish in the Top Eight because you must understand that a lot of our development players derive confidence from what happens at the top as they look up to first team players as role models.

If the first team doesn’t do well it does put a damper in our spirits because wherever you go you become the focus with people reminding you that you finished ninth in the log. But is not a true reflection of what we are capable of.

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