nfd teams back youth

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

A number of National First Division (NFD) teams have decided to beef up their squads with youngsters, in the name of youth empowerment.

They also reckon that it is another way of ensuring that they have players who will stay with them longer. But the clubs admit they will still need experienced players for balance.

"We are confident that these youngsters will bring in stability into the team," Joshua Ndwandwe, Nathi Lions' team manager, said

Lions opted to promote young players from their development side. The youngsters are Khaya Makhaya, Shaldon Gregory and Gift Zungu. Mduduzi Nxele, Phelelani Gcaba and Sthembiso Ntombela were signed from Durban Stars.

Black Leopards have signed six amateur players: Thabo Mongalo and Michael Moloto from Botlokwa; Mahlatse Maake and Mamadimo Kgetja Masenya from Mankweng; and Christopher Thobejane and Nkosiyethu Xakane from Bloemfontein.

The Thohoyandou side has also enlisted the services of former Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Postnet Omony, Mongezi Bobe from Mpumalanga Black Aces, and Sbusiso Mtuyendwa and Liyolo Mapodisa from FC Cape Town.

"We want to rebuild the team, to ensure that we have a formidable squad. We are aware that the inland stream is strongly contested hence we also roped in experienced players," Tshifiwa "Chief" Thidiela, Leopards' brand manager, told Sowetan yesterday.

"We also want to empower youngsters from this province to become professionals."

African Warriors, who took the division by storm in their maiden appearance last season, have also signed five players from the amateur ranks.

They have Fumane Mathebula, Vusi Mashinini and Mfunelo Makume from Matatiel Professionals in Eastern Cape; as well as Lefang Madola and Lebogang Mokhele from Matlosana FC in North West.

They have also included veteran campaigners Shaun Oliver and Sakia Mokonyane from Free State Stars, and Dan Semaka from FC AK.

"Our intention is to develop the youngsters who will be with the team in the coming three seasons," Fees Moloi, African Warriors' team manager, said.

Most of the clubs are expected to finalise their signings by the end of this week.