academy on horizon

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Popular Soweto amateur side Senaoane Gunners and Stars of Africa Development Programme have formed a partnership to start a more professional soccer academy.

The chairmen of the two institutions, Mike "Nanana" Ntombela (Gunners) and Farouk Khan (Stars of Africa) will be in charge of the new development project.

Ntombela has played professional soccer at Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, where he also served as captain.

He also worked as an assistant coach of the South African Under-23 national side, working closely with Shakes Mashaba.

As for the knowledgeable Khan, who also trained as a coach in Brazil, he has worked as a technical staff member at Kaizer Chiefs and Santos.

"It's good for soccer that Farouk and I have reunited, we worked together when the Transnet Football School of Excellence was formed," said Ntombela.

"We were in charge of the various satellite centres that operated in the various townships as feeders to the School of Excellence.

"That is where players like Steven Pienaar, Zitha Mofokeng, John Nkambule and Tshepiso Maphalla were identified and recommended to the school.

"We will be also identifying talented youngsters from Senaoane Gunners, who will drafted into the new project that we have formed.

"As part of the advanced training they will be getting, the youngsters will get all the necessary technical assistance from our experts.

"Players will also be managed within the partnership, including when they join local or overseas clubs to further their career. Life skills will form part our programme."

Ntombela said they will also be assisting Premiership and National First Division sides to set up proper development structures.