Big number of SA young players now plying trade overseas

Following two consecutive World Cup qualifications by Thabo Senong’s U20 national team, the South African Football Association (SAFA)’s Vision 2022 is bearing fruits with several youngsters enjoying careers overseas – something that will have a huge benefit for Bafana Bafana in the near future.

There are also female players playing overseas.

“Recently, we have had a good number of young players signing for top overseas teams and this will immensely benefit our Senior National Teams, especially Bafana Bafana,” said Technical Director Neil Tovey.

“You cannot take away the importance of our players going overseas. If we are to be world beaters, we have to encourage our good players to play in top European leagues. All of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay among others’ top players are based in Europe and this is something we must encourage our players to do if we are to compete at the very top,” added Tovey.

Tovey said the success of our junior teams was one catalyst that made overseas clubs take a keen interest on our players.

Amajita secured their ticket to Poland after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Burundi in the on-going CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations which subsequently assured them a place in the semi-finals of the competition where they will meet Senegal.

Since rolling out the ambitious blueprint programme, SAFA has in the recent past seen a good number of promising players going overseas to further their careers. Some of them are part of the Amajita squad currently doing duty in Niger.

A total of 35 youngsters under the age of 20 are currently playing regular football in countries such as Portugal, England, Holland, Germany and France with more players expected to be exported in the next few years thanks to the Association’s vision which has seen junior teams constantly qualifying for major tournaments globally.

Current SA Under 20 players playing overseas.

  1. Sphephelo Sithole (19, Central Midfielder) Vitoria Setubal, Portugal
  2. Nkanyiso Shinga (18, Defender) Vitoria Setubal, Portugal
  3. Simo Mbhele (20, Attaching Midfielder) Cova Di Piedade, Portugal
  4. Katlego Mohammed (20, Defender) Sertanense, Portugal
  5. Sibusiso Shibane (19, Striker) Portugal
  6. Khaya Leshabela (19 Attackong Midfielder) Leicester City, England
  7. Siphesihle Mdlalose (19, Striker) Southampton, England
  8. Tyrique Bartlett (19, Striker) Newcastle, England
  9. Katlego Mashigo (17, Central Midfielder) Fleetwood Town England
  10. Keanin Ayer (18, Attacking Midfielder) Verbergs Bols, Sweden
  11. Jake Aresti (18, Attacking Midfielder) PEC Zwolle, Holland
  12. Leo Thethani (19, Winger) Ajax Amsterdam, Holland
  13. Dean Solomons (19, Defender) Ajax Amsterdam, Holland
  14. Keith Groeneveld (19, Defender) Standard de Liege, Belgium
  15. Nicola Tavares (19, Defender) Crystal Palace, England
  16. Bradley Cross (17, Defender) Schalke Germany
  17. Tashreeq Matthews (19 years) Utrecht, Holland
  18. Buhle Damane (18 Goalkeeper) Vitoria Setubal player on trial at Benfica, Portugal
  19. Constantino Christodoulou (16, Goalkeeper) Maritzburg United MDC Captain on trial at Manchester City, England
  20. Kubamelo Kodisang (19, Winger) CD Sanjoanense, Portugal
  21. Carlton Ubaezouno (20, Striker) Dundalk, Ireland
  22. Tlou Tumelo (18, Midfielder) Glasgow Celtics, Scotland
  23. Lyle Foster (18, Striker) AS Monaco, France
  24. Mdlalose. (19 years) Southampton England
  25. Karol. (19.years) USMP, PERU
  26. Mokone (19 years) Utrecht. Netherlands
  27. Kodisang.(19 yrs) Sanjoanense
  28. Luther Singh (21, Striker) SC Braga, Portugal
  29. Thabo Cele (21, Central Midfielder) Cova Di Piedade, Portugal
  30. Mihlali Mayambela (22, Winger) SC Farense, Portugal
  31. Kurt Abrahams (21, Striker) Westerlo Belgium
  32. Liam Jordan (21, Striker/Winger) HB Koge Denmark
  33. Sekgotla Kgaogelo (21, Striker) Vitoria Setubal, Portugal
  34. Tom Barkhuizen. (22. Years, Winger ). Preston, North End England
  35. Untersee. (24 years) FC Zurich. Switzerland

SOurce:SAFA

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