Northern Cape wins big at Shield Sbonis’ IDiski player search campaign

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The province of the Northern Cape was the biggest winner at the conclusion of the 2019 Shield Sbonis’ IDiski player search campaign, which attracted over 11 000 players from around the country.

Two of the three players selected come from the Northern Cape Province and this is an area where there’s no National First Division (NFD) nor a Premier Soccer League (PSL) team.

Amogelang Matebesi (19) is a striker and Cassius Spandeel (18) a left-back both from Northern Cape.

This is the third year of this player search campaign and the three boys will be off to train with English Premiership giants Chelsea and also sign a one-year contract with the Orlando Pirates reserve side.

Spandeel, who hails from Frances Baard, couldn’t contain his excitement.

The third player is Thandanani Tshabalala (20), a goalkeeper from the Free State.

A total of 25 players were vying for the three available spots. They were scouted from nine provinces from April until August.

This campaign is in its third year and is starting to be embraced by the locals.

Chelsea representative Laurie Griffin was raving about 2019’s edition after seeing the campaign rising from 700 to 11 000 players following the addition of five more regions.

Good news coming from the Pirates development academy is that they are not done with this group of players who were not selected. Bucs development Coach Mandla Qhogi has assured that they could be going for five more players as they were impressed with the talent they saw.

Before the announcement at the Rand Stadium on Wednesday, the selection team of 25 players lost 1-0 to the Pirates reserve side.

They had only been together for a week and based at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

Gareth Marshall comes from the sponsors and says this concept is starting to bear fruit.

– Report by Velile Mnyandu