AFTER they were relegated to the National First Division with a squad of experienced players, Bay United have promoted six youngsters from their development side.
The latest recruits are Siyabonga Nontshinga and Mpho Erasmus from Bay Academy. They follow Andile Qoqa, Ruwayne Ahgoo, Mnoneleli Zitho and Elethu Mtakati, who passed trials late last season but were signed during the off-season.
Umlilo's spokesperson Vuyo Mvoko said one of the reasons that motivated them to rope in youngsters is that most of the NFD players are younger and quicker, and they still want to make it in football.
"Young players' work rate is very high because they are able to give their best shots.
"The other issue is that we have to walk the talk that development should play a central role within the club as per the mandate of one of our sponsors, VW," Mvoko said yesterday.
"Promoting youngsters will help us build a strong support base because supporters will be happy to see that we take local football seriously."
In addition to the six youngsters, United have renewed the contracts of six experienced players: captain Duran Francis, Lerato Makhubo, Khayalethu Ngangqu, Patrick Mayo, Vincent Khumalo and Sheldon Plaatjies.
The Port Elizabeth-based side are still negotiating contracts with goalkeeper Arthur Baartman, Eddie Ngalo, Sakhile Makhathini, Maphelo Galada and Nhlanhla Vilakazi.
Meanwhile Dynamos, who survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, have also roped in three youngsters: Sipho Khosa, Godfrey Lebelo and Douglas Belle.
They have also signed Booler Shabalala from their neighbours Winners Park.