The Nedbank Ke Yona Team Class of 2019 was officially unveiled on Wednesday in Sandton ahead of the Ke Yona Challenge fixture against Nedbank Cup champions, TS Galaxy, at Kameelrivier Stadium this Sunday afternoon (kick off: 3pm)
The 18-man team will be captained by Thabiso Lebitso from Sebokeng in the Sedibeng on the south of Gauteng.
Khabo Zondo, Doctor Khumalo and Jerry Sikhosana – the three Ke Yona Team coaches tasked with finding the current crop of talent over the past six months – all praised the youngsters’ passion over the past weeks in a series of Camps that now give them an opportunity to train and hopefully win a professional contract.
“The youngsters have given their entire dedication, where they not only showcased their talent on the field but an even better attitude off it, since being a part of the programme. I congratulate the final 18 names that have made the Class of 2019. I also congratulate Thabiso, who has been given the armband to lead out these charges against TS Galaxy on Sunday,” said Zondo.
“There were thousands of young players that showed dedication throughout this journey, and it is unfortunate that only 18 could make the final team. What will be key for this current crop of talent is to channel their natural talent and all of the skills given to them over the past few weeks towards the end goal – getting an opportunity of training and hopefully winning a professional contract.” Khumalo added
“We hope the public can also come out to see the future of South African football and to give this young talent the support that they need in Kameelrivier. I wish the boys all of the best as they prepare for their first task at hand – playing and beating a professional outfit this coming weekend,” said Sikhosana.
The Ke Yona Team Search (KYTS) is a development programme that seeks to unearth, incubate and support football development in South Africa while providing aspiring footballers with an opportunity to become professional footballers.
“It is exciting to see another batch of young talent being unveiled out to the public. I know that their respective communities will be proud of them when they take to the field on Sunday. I wish them the best of luck as they follow in the footsteps of Bongani Sam (Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana), Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana) and Ricardo Versuur (Highlands Park), who are some of the players that were found through this programme.” said Tobie Badenhorst, Head: Group Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at Nedbank
The Ke Yona Challenge will be broadcast on SuperSport 4 this coming Sunday from 2.30pm.
The Class of 2019 Nedbank Ke Yona Team: Thulani Cele (Umlazi), Blessing Chauke (Malamulela), Khanyiso Ginxa (Kwazakhele), Sive Gqezengele (New Brighton), Luke Groep (Amalinda), Thabiso Lebitso (Sebokeng), Hendry Lekhoathi (Kimberley), Nhlanhla Malinga (Evaton West), Aphiwe Maliwa (Gugulethu), Christopher Maoto (Sekhung), Siwaphiwe Maso (Mthatha), Blessing Mazubane (Menlowood), Kwanele Mfeketho (Langa), Sello Mochoeneng (Mahwelereng), Phemelo Ncanywa (Kimberley), Thembelani Ndlovu (Mooi River), Nhlanhla Ntuli (Estcourt), Enoch Puzi (New Brighton