The seventh edition of the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search (KYTS) came to a conclusion today as the 18 finalists were drafted into Premier Soccer League (PSL) and National First Division (NFD) teams.
The 18 finalists who made it through trails in 7 provinces, rose through the programme which included training and bootcamps as well as multiple elimination rounds, were revealed ahead of their clash against history-making current Nedbank Cup Champions, TS Galaxy on September 08 at Kameelrivier Stadium.
The KYTS football development programme seeks to unearth, incubate and support football development in South Africa by providing aspiring footballers with an opportunity to become professional footballers. The KYTS draft gets players closer to their dreams by giving them the opportunity to be placed within PSL and NFD teams, where they could potentially earn a professional contract.
Tobie Badenhorst, Nedbank Head of Sponsorships and Cause Marketing said “For Nedbank, the goal is to enable young footballers to follow their footballing aspirations. Getting to this point was no easy feat for the players but we believe we’ve equipped them with skills for on and beyond the pitch, to be able to make a success of their careers.”
The Nedbank Ke Yona Team Draft was done through a live draw selection process where each of the 16 PSL teams were drawn from a ball, followed by the draw of the player to be drafted to them.
As the current Nedbank Cup Champions, TS Galaxy got the privilege of handpicking 2 players pre-draft, with the remaining 16 going to the various PSL clubs.
TS Galaxy’s picks were Aphiwe Maliwa and Sello Mochoeneng. First in the live draft was Maritzburg United, landing Phemelo Ncanywa, followed by Orlando Pirates landing Blessing Chauke. Next was Baroka FC landing Siwaphiwe Maso followed by the clever boys, Bidvest Wits landing Nhlanhla Malinga.
Mamelodi Sundowns was next in line landing Thembelani Ndlovu, followed by Stellenbosch United landing themselves Blessing Mazubane, then Black Leopards landing Kwanele Mfeketho and Cape Town City with Enoch Puzi.
Lamontville Golden Arrows were next, landing Luke Groep, followed by AmaZulu who landed Thulani Cele and Bloemfontein Celtic landed Nhlanhla Ntuli, with Polokwane City getting Christopher Maoto. Highlands Park landed Henry Lekhoathi, off to Naturena to join Kaizer Cheifs is goal keeper Sive Gqezengele, Supersport United landed Khanyiso Ginxa with Ke Yona Team Captain Thabiso Lebitso going to Chippa United.
KYTS coach Doctor Khumalo said “I know it’s going to be a different environment where they’re going. Training and playing with players they admire will be quite an adjustment but they know they need to be calm and remember the lessons they’ve been taught through this Ke Yona Team Search process.”
Badenhorst concluded, “Nedbank is incredibly proud of the Ke Yona Team Search and the players, with this draft we’re taking it a step further, giving them the opportunity to showcase all they’ve been training for and to use the skills they’ve learned through this process to hopefully earn themselves a professional contract.
Players have been drafted to:
Thulani Cele – AmaZulu
Kwanele Mfeketho – Black Leopards
Siwaphiwe Maso – Baroka FC
Nhlanhla Ntuli – Bloem Celtic
Christopher Maoto – Polokwane City
Blessing Chauke – Orlando Pirates
Thembelani Ndlovu -Mamelodi Sundowns
Luke Groep – Lamontville Golden Arrows
Thabiso Lebitso – Chippa United
Aphiwe Maliwa – TS Galaxy
Sello Mochoeneng – TS Galaxy
Enoch Puzi – Cape Town City
Blessing Mazubane – Stellenbosch FC
Nhlanhla Malinga – Bidvest Wits
Sive Gqezengele – Kaizer Chiefs
Phemelo Ncanywa – Martizburg United
Khanyiso Ginxa – Supersport United