England-based Nike Academy open doors for two South Africans


TWO South African young players, Jonathan King and Reyaad Pieterse have each landed one year contract with the Nike Academy in London.

Arsenal manager,  Arsene Wenger, Manager  and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst announced the two players as the winners of the “Chance” a global search for talented footballers to join the Nike Academy together with six other players, Mustapha Taline, (France), Tobi Amokeodo, (United Kingdom), Fabio Tonini,  (Belgium), Titi Accam, (United Kingdom), Seon-Min Moon, (Korea),  and Tomas Rogic, (Australia) who were selected for a shot at the pro’s with unrivalled access to world class coaching and facilities for one year.

 The final trial week under the watchful eye of elite coaches and scouts eight players will take their hard earned places as full-time members of the Nike Academy starting July 2011.

 “The Chance gives young players around the world the opportunity to showcase their talent, enhance their game and offers the ultimate dream, the chance of becoming a professional player,” said Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal FC. “The eight players who have won their place at the Nike Academy demonstrated great technical ability and dedication to succeed at the final trials.”

The successful eight, hand-picked from over 75,000 global submissions from 40 countries, have competed in both national and global trials to make it to the final eight.  They will now go on to experience world class facilities, train with elite coaches, nutritionists, psychologists and fitness conditioners, as well as play matches against elite academies and professional reserve teams.

“I know from personal experience that players develop at different stages and rebound from setbacks to reach the elite level of the game and that’s what makes The Chance such a great program, providing access to top class coaching, training and facilities, said Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.  “What’s really important about trial week, beyond the great success of the final eight players, is that everyone will take something away from the training this week, everyone improves their game.”




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