“They had a magnificent run,” comments Sundra Govinder, Head of the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy about the Under-19s side that collected 52 points from 19 games. The team also found the back of the net 76 times, while conceding 26 goals. The highest score was a 19-1 win over Lenasia Academy.
Yaseen Bunting was one of the star players with the striker scoring more than 30 times. “Yaseen was phenomenal,” says Govinder, who doubled up as the Under-19s coach. Another who showed great potential was midfielder Kamohelo Lebohang.
“This group is ready to move up a step and play for the Reserve side,” adds Govinder.
The Under-17s had a poor start to the season, even sitting at the bottom of the log at some stage, but the team started to improve considerably after Ace Khuse took charge halfway through the season. They eventually finished in fourth position, having collected 36 points from 19 games.
“They began to play with more structure using the Kaizer Chiefs style of play,” Govinder points out the positive influence of the Amakhosi legend on the team’s performance.
The Under-15s finished in third spot with 39 points. “Both the Under-15s and Under-13s are age groups we didn’t have before,” the head of the Youth Development Academy remarks. “This was the first season we participated in the GDL, unlike other clubs like Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits. I am happy with the way they performed.”
The side was coached by Tshidiso Letsholonyane, while former first team player Jimmy Jambo took charge of the Under-13s, who finished in third position, collecting 37 points.
“The Under-13s were the most exciting team to watch,” Govinder enthuses. “They play brilliant one-touch football. Even opponents praised the way they played.”
The shining star in the side was the 11-year-old Simphiwe Mkhize, who reminds Govinder of Chiefs legend, Teenage Dladla. “He’s a blue print of Teenage. Simphiwe also scored a lot of goals, he’s somebody to keep a close eye on.”