Multichoice Diski Challenge a perfect showcase for up-and-coming young talent
THE MultiChoice Diski Challege is proving to be beneficial to the entire South African Football fraternity. During the last campaign history was made as PSL club Platinum Stars was coached by a female, Keleabetswe Diale. Diale led Dikwena’s reserve team to 13th position on the log standings with 14 points after 15 games.
After her first season in an industry where she’s the only sheep among jackals, coach Diale talks about her ground-breaking moment.
“It was tough, we didn’t do well, “reflects Diale. “I have not given up though, I am looking forward to this season, especially kicking off the campaign against SuperSport United having played to a goalless draw last season.’’
Diale’s second stint with the side will progress without star player Kobamelo Kodisang, who signed for Bidvest Wits during the transfer window.
Despite losing one of her star players, the 35-year-old is confident of a better outcome this season though.
“It was a big blow losing him (Kodisang) but we wish him well in his endeavour. We have a squad that is well-balanced and we should be able to fight for a better position this season.’’
The reserve league side’s ambitions’ have got bigger and better. Mamelodi Sundowns put in a stellar performance last campaign, winning both trophies that were up for grabs; MultiChoice Diski Challenge and MultiChoice International Challenge.
The Brazilians’ coach David Notoane has nothing but praise for his team’s triumphs last season.
“It was a very successful campaign. To go to the Netherlands and come back victorious back was a cherry on top,” Notoane said.
“We wanted to change the mistakes of the past two seasons, where we didn’t win. The feeling of losing out twice on the trophy was not a good one at all.”
The Downs’ development coach stresses the importance of picking up where they left off last campaign.
“Coming to the new season we have clear objectives as compared to the previous campaign, we just want to win it.”
“We obviously want to keep the momentum going. We will be bringing in more players around the ages of 18 and 19, play them with the senior guys, so as to let get them experience and exposure,” Notoane said.
“Last season we really did well, as a result we had three players who were promoted to the first team –Motjeka Madisha, Keletso Makgalwa and Thendo Mukumela.
“This season we also have exciting talent to work with, players like Khulekani Khubeka (who’s been training with the first team), Siphesihle Mkhize, Promise Mkhumba, Musawenkosi Mdluli and Moleboga Modise. These are the future stars of the club, as the first team players won’t play forever.”
With Wits’ senior team proving to be the winners of the Premiership in the 2016/2017 season, it is no surprise that the club’s reserve side will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the seniors this campaign.
“The Students’ MDC side finished sixth position last campaign, and coach Glen Salmon has evaluated the various misfortunes his side suffered.
“It was frustrating, we should have been fighting for that number one spot. We played with a young squad who obviously make mistakes now and again,” Salmon said.
The 39-year-old former Bafana striker isn’t dwelling on the past campaign, but is concentrating on the task that lies ahead.
“We will have even a younger squad this season. Our plan is to develop the boys as much as we can. Winning the MDC is not a priority with us but we can’t rule out the mindset of winning it.”
After the graduation of Reeve Frosler into the first team, Salmon states that his camp is still filled with a lot of aspiring talent, with players like George Matlou, Sizwe Twala and Jaimie Craack key in this plans.