Kick Off - - FACE TO FACE -

While play­ers like Aubrey Modiba and Bon­gani Sam are be­com­ing house­hold names in the PSL after com­ing through the Ke Yona team, se­lec­tor Mike Man­gena be­lieves the in­te­gra­tion of play­ers from the am­a­teur ranks still re­mains their big­gest chal­lenge. “The big­gest chal­lenge is in­te­grat­ing these play­ers into pro­fes­sional foot­ball,” Man­gena says. “After scout­ing the player, you have to nur­ture and pro­tect the tal­ent. To in­te­grate these play­ers into pro­fes­sional foot­ball, we need to work hand-in-hand with PSL coaches, we need to keep in touch with them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis be­cause these play­ers are na­tional as­sets.” And Sam shares the same sen­ti­ments with his former men­tor. “The Ned­bank Ke Yona process is great be­cause you ex­pe­ri­ence a lot of things,” he says. “They treat you like a pro­fes­sional. Ev­ery­thing you do is pro­fes­sional; the way you eat and the way you carry your­self has to be pro­fes­sional. I felt pro­fes­sional even though I was not yet there, but be­ing part of that gives you that feel­ing. With all due re­spect, if I had picked a big­ger club I was not go­ing to get the op­por­tu­nity I got with Celtic. So I’m very grate­ful.”

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