With the first season in the bag, Nike Academy is ready to kick start its second season and registrations are currently open. Trials will take place on the 19th and 20th of August 2017 at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, where more young players will have the chance to train with expert coaches and be scouted by professional teams.
For 10 consecutive weeks, the Nike Academy provided weekly pro-level training sessions in season one of its Academy launch, where 40 young footballers were able to develop their skills under the expert guidance of coaches and mentors.
In addition to the intense training sessions, the squad competed in five exhibition matches against professional teams, namely: Kaizer Chiefs U/19, Orlando Pirates U/19, Nedbank Ke Yona, and faced off with two teams from the Soweto Football Association.
Nike Academy Head Coach and former pro-footballer, Arthur Zwane, expressed his satisfaction with the results achieved in Season one. “As a technical staff member I am proud and it’s a job well done for us. We saw some incredible talent come into the academy this round and we look forward to continuing that momentum into the second season,” says Zwane. The greatest success of the season was having two players selected to join the Kaizer Chiefs MDC team -. Lorenzo Eckersley and Cameron Tayler were hugely excited to be handpicked from the squad of 40 for this prestigious opportunity.
In addition, five players were selected by the coaching team to be retained by the Nike Academy for Season two:
- Thapelo Molefe
- Thato Tshabalala
- Diego de Carvalho
- Rivano De Villiers
- Mbongnei Mabaringe
“These players showed great potential and we believe that with another season in the academy, they will further sharpen their skills and prove to be valuable players for some of our most prestigious local clubs,” explains Zwane.
As a platform that contributes to national development structures, the Nike Academy will continue to work closely with the South African Football Association (SAFA), Kaizer Chiefs and the Soweto Local Football Association to ensure the long term sustainability and effectiveness of the programme.
All players who wish to join the trials for Season 2 must register at Nike.com/joburg. Follow Nike Football on social media for regular updates: Twitter @nikefootballza; www.facebook.com/nikefootballza