Just moments after announcing the historic R1 billion in revenue that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has declared, chairman of the league Irvin Khoza also revealed plans to improve the talent pipeline in the League.
Khoza said the quality of talent, especially at the academies of the 32 clubs both in the PSL and the GladAfrica Championship, has to improve.
Commercially, the PSL has in the past 12 years ranked amongst the top leagues globally but the talent in the field of play has not complemented this. Khoza says they have identified ways to improve this area, counting their newly found partnership with the German Bundesliga as another way of improving.
Following the embarrassing Euro 2000 campaign where Germany bombed out of the tournament in the group stages, a revolutionary change took place within German youth football eventually guided by then Technical Director Matthias Sammer.
The German FA (DFB) decided to no longer scout and train the traditional strong and fit players but to start developing modern creative players. Addressing the challenges PSL clubs have in this space of developing talent, Khoza says they aim to start by improving their reserve teams to produce quality talent.
Bundesliga clubs revamped their academies and they went on to produce players like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Marko Mario Mario Gotze and more, who helped them to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Questions have been asked about the quality standards of the club’s academies and who is assuring the quality control in the running of their programmes.
Most PSL clubs operate without a Sporting Director (Technical Director), who would oversee the technical vision of the entire club.
Khoza has identified this as a critical area and hopes that the Football Indaba to be organised by the government and SAFA will help to address this.
The Vision 2022 document of SAFA talks of clubs from the fourth tier (SAB Regional League) to the PSL having women’s football teams. At the PSL Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week, the newly appointed SAFA Acting CEO Gay Mokoena made a presentation where he asked the clubs to consider this according to Khoza. – Report by Velile Mnyandu