Sifiso is back from Brazil to develop local talent

Sifiso Mnguni. © Sowetan.
Sifiso Mnguni. © Sowetan.

Stembiso Zikalala

Stembiso Zikalala

Shona Khona continues to unearth future soccer stars in South Africa.

Reckitt Benckiser and Metcash's education-through- sport initiative is supported by its media partners Sowetan and SABC. Shona Khona is giving youngsters between the ages of 10 and 16 an opportunity to make their soccer dreams a reality.

In only two years, 24 young South Africans who impressed the experts, travelled to Brazil for specialised inductions at the famous Sao Paulo Football Club soccer academy.

One of the youngsters, Tyroane Sandows, has returned to the Brazilian academy for 12 months. If he continues to play well, his stay could be extended.

In the latest development, Sifiso Mnguni, 18, from Heidelberg, Gauteng, has signed a three-year professional playing contract with the development side of Premier Soccer League club, Platinum Stars.

Mnguni was introduced to the club, formerly Silver Stars, through Shona Khona. He was 17-years-old when he joined the club's Under-19 development team.

"I've been working hard at Platinum Stars and was very pleased when they offered me a contract," an excited Mnguni said this week.

When he returned from Brazil last year with 11 other soccer hopefuls, Mnguni started his own soccer team. His club is called Development United.

Mnguni put all the skills and training that he learnt at the Sao Paulo Football Club to good use.

The young man said that he formed Development United because he wanted to show his appreciation and give something back to his community in Heidelberg.

Mnguni was part of the Silver Stars under-19 team that travelled to Cape Town in April to play in the Bayhill Tournament.

His coach at Platinum Stars, Allan Freeze, is very pleased with Mnguni's progress.

"The youngster joined Platinum Stars last year and he performed so well that we offered him the three-year deal. Mnguni's future atour club is very bright," Freeze said.Mnguni played an important part in a very successful 2007 season for Platinum Stars. The team won the Safa under-19 league for the third consecutive year. The talented youngsters also won the Super Sport Under-19 Cup. our club is very bright," Freeze said.

Mnguni played an important part in a very successful 2007 season for Platinum Stars. The team won the Safa under-19 league for the third consecutive year. The talented youngsters also won the Super Sport Under-19 Cup.

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