Safa maps way forward for development

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The South African Football Association youth affairs and development committees will meet at a leading Kempton Park hotel near OR Tambo International Airport today.

Nakedi Lekota, chairman of the youth affairs committee, said the aim of the meeting is to map the way forward for soccer development in the country.

"We have about six or seven Safa subcommittees which overlap into youth affairs and developmental issues, including referees and coaches," said Lekota.

"We all know that you can't buy refereeing or coaching positions in the professional league, you have to start at development level, which is where we come in.

"Those are some of the things that we feel we need to clear with the relevant subcommittees, even if it means getting us involved when they deal with them," said Lekota.

"Our argument is that as youth affairs and development subcommittees we need to take the lead when it comes to those issues.

Lekota, who is also the Safa Limpopo president, said they wanted to create a platform where national teams of various age groups should be selected.

"Our aim is to see our young children playing competitive soccer on a regular basis. They do not have to wait for a certain tournament after three to six months.

"Playing regularly will also help us monitor their progress. The challenge that we are facing is that once they start doing well, professional clubs sign them up.

"A few weeks later you start having problems where those clubs refuse to release them for national duty but we hope the joint liaison committee will help us on this one."

On the issue of school competitions, Lekota said Safa needed to get more involved in the running of tournaments at institutions of learning.

"It will also help us to access the players at school level. There is an abundance of talent that I have no doubt it will help compliment our junior national teams."

Eric Mtshatsha, chairman of the development committee, will also speak at today's gathering.