fishing for more talent

Mark Fish, a 2010 World Cup ambassador, has called for the revival of school soccer leagues played on a regular basis as one of the legacy projects of the tournament.

Mark Fish, a 2010 World Cup ambassador, has called for the revival of school soccer leagues played on a regular basis as one of the legacy projects of the tournament.

Fish said the establishment of soccer leagues at primary and high schools would benefit the junior national teams like Majimbos and Amajita a great deal.

"Coaches won't have to start with the basics when they call up players for national duty," said Fish at the launch of the Nestlé Milo Cup in Emmarentia on Friday.

As part of the launch of the R4,2 million tournament, Fish conducted coaching clinics for about 50 up-and-coming soccer stars at Marks Park

"We can't even match some of the countries on the continent pound-for-pound at junior level, which is a cause for concern," said Fish

"It is important that we as South Africans should lay a solid foundation for development by channeling all our resources into school soccer.

"We need to create more platforms where the boys will start learning about the basics, especially at school where some of us started."

Fish has also urged more soccer greats to get involved in the game by working as coaches and administrators for schools in their areas.

"As people who have played football, I think the former players will make a significant contribution to the development of the game.

"The buzzword lately is the 2010 World Cup. We also need to get involved so that Bafana Bafana can get quality players."

Steve Pila, South African Football Schools Association general secretary, said: "We are quite excited that Mark will be with us throughout this tournament."

Fish will also conduct clinics during the tournament that will be played in all nine provinces. It will start in two weeks' time.

X