NFD mentors slam the U-23 rule yet again
What the rule says
The National First Division (NFD) Under-23 rule has come under fire again after only three players from the second-tier league made the South African team for the CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations that started in Senegal yesterday.
Out of coach Owen Da Gama’s 21-member squad, only Black Leopards’ Siphelele Ntshangase (22) and the Cape Town All Stars duo of Kyle Peters (22) and Paseka Mako (21) made the cut.
While many credited Da Gama for picking the strongest possible team, some of the NFD coaches argued that their teams were “playing the Under-23 players for the wrong reasons”.
Former Vasco da Gama coach Tony de Nobrega said: “We’ve been saying this for many years now, that we are not a development league. Yes, Owen [Da Gama] chose the best Under-23 team but [the majority of players] are definitely not from the NFD clubs. It is not his fault that we are playing the Under23 players for the wrong reasons.”
Kgoloko Thobejane, coach of log leaders Baroka, was more diplomatic. “I can’t really say whether [the SA team selection] is good or not because I am not sure what the selectors are looking for. Our boy [Thabiso Kutumela] is the leading scorer and we could tell through his
Clubs participating in the National First Division must include a minimum of five players who are both Under-23 and eligible to represent South Africa in the starting line-up for every match. The starting line-up is the 11 players who are representing the team on the field of play at the kickoff of the match and are shown as such on the team sheet.
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