WHILE domestic football is on recess due to the 2015 African Cup of Nations taking place in Equatorial Guinea, 45 players will assemble at the Easy Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg this Friday (January 16) for the 3rd season of the Castle Lager Football Academy campaign.
The Castle Lager sponsored football campaign formerly known as “finding tomorrow’s Bafana together”, aims to discover young talented players with the potential to be fast-tracked and signed by Premier Soccer League and the National First Division (NFD and PSL) teams, and could in the future represent South Africa in the Senior Men’s team (Bafana Bafana).
The 3rd season is set to unearth more talented footballers in the country same as the likes of Deolin Mekoa of Maritzburg United, Siphiwe Mtsweni at Kaizer Chiefs, Chase Parsons at SuperSport United and Rafique de Goede at NFD side Vasco da Gama who were identified from the past two seasons of the campaign.
In November last year, after months of intense scouting in the SAB regional league and the Varsity football tournament, the academy scouts led by Bafana Bafana legends, Neil Tovey and Phil Masinga, named the 45 players (semi-finalists) who will be joining the exclusive camp on Friday.
The 45 aspirants will be based in Johannesburg for the duration of the camp while holding their training sessions at the Balfour Alexandra Football Club Training grounds in Balfour Park.
They will be taken through intense three days of trials by Neil Tovey and Phil Masinga with the hope of making the 23 players who will be selected to continue with the camp till February 2.
The 23 who make the cut, will then play friendly matches with PSL and NFD teams, with the hope of catching the eye of coaches and scouts from the PSL and NFD clubs.
The camp will not only provide an opportunity for PSL and NFD scouts to identify players during the league January transfer window, it will also provide the under/23 national team coaches with a chance to scout for players, as they are in the process of putting together a team that will compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“The past two seasons have been a success with a couple players signed by PSL and NFD sides. The players are aware of the possibilities that this campaign offers them, and I believe they will want to use them to their own benefit to further their football career. The camp is about getting them to understand what it take to be a professional player, doing all the training and gym work as they come from an amateur league,” said Neil Tovey, Castle Lager Football Academy ambassador and coach.