Safa Soweto goes global for development

Safa Soweto is taking the development of the sport in the township to a global level by partnering with their counterparts in Manchester, England.

Safa Soweto is taking the development of the sport in the township to a global level by partnering with their counterparts in Manchester, England.

"We are finalising a cooperation agreement with the Manchester Local Football Association," said Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Soweto chief executive.

Mogodi, who is also the Safa Johannesburg regional deputy president, said the proposed partnership with the English was part of their 2010 World Cup legacy project.

"The aim of meeting them was to see how they run their affairs, with the hope of improving on some of the things that we have been doing," he said.

"There are a lot of similarities in the things the English do but they are lucky that the corporate world is fully behind them.

"They have a good database of all their junior and senior players, which is something we are going to introduce as a matter of urgency.

"They enjoy massive support from the corporate world. We will produce quality players for Bafana Bafana if development is fully supported by the big companies. We hope that with the 2010 World Cup coming to our shores, amateur soccer will also benefit in terms of sponsorship."

Mogodi said they also met Huw Jennings, the Premier League's youth development manager and former boss of Southampton's academy.

"Some of the things that we discussed include sending our coaches and players to England for further training. They will also send some of their coaches to Soweto.

"Huw will be visiting us sometime next week for an inspection of the projects we are working on and [to see what] possible assistance they can offer to us."

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