The Rep

Nine Phoenix juniors signed to league clubs


Phoenix Bird FC has announced they have signed nine players with local teams, and three of them have been transferre­d to Seven Stars FC, a major stride from junior Local Football Associatio­n league level to a provincial league.

According to Phoenix coach Ringo Klaas, the footballer­s are all 18 years old.

The three who will be joining Seven Stars include centre midfielder Luvo Dawethi, centre back Asakhe Nikani and centre back Ayabulela Ncinithwa. Dawethi is also set to go for trials in Italy in December.

Seven Stars coach Yongama Kepkey said: “I am happy for the boys who went from the Local Football League straight into the ABC Motsepe League. We are grateful to Klaas for developing such good players. He must keep up his good work. The boys are already with us and they fit perfectly with the team.”

Klaas said: “Seven Stars management felt the three players demonstrat­ed the same standard of football as their players. They will be part of the Seven Stars lineup against Pondo Chiefs in Bizana tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, right back Nkazimlo Gini has signed with Komani Stars in the SAB League.

Four players, left wing Hlela Mrubata, centre midfielder Likhona Xoseni, goalkeeper Hlumelo Peter and striker Lutho Mbili, are now playing for Young Minds, which is also competing in the regional league.

Klaas said the transfers were a rewarding moment for his work, as he had invested years preparing the boys for the next level of football.

“I feel grateful to have had the opportunit­y of grooming the players to reach a higher level of football. They have been with me for years. I started training them while they were under ten,” he said.

“Training footballer­s is a very difficult journey because there are a lot of distractio­ns which emerge along the way. It has required me to get their parents involved by informing them about the football programme during the different stages of the athlete’s developmen­t,” Klaas said.

Klaas indicated that sitting down with parents was crucial during the young adolescent phases where a lot of the boys were prone to peer pressure.

“Some of them start giving problems, others leave the team to join another one that fails to take care of them and others just give up. This is why I feel grateful.”

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