Safa revives Transnet school

SAFA's leaders are pulling out all the stops to revive the Transnet Football School of Excellence, which was once the pride of South African soccer.

SAFA's leaders are pulling out all the stops to revive the Transnet Football School of Excellence, which was once the pride of South African soccer.

The long overdue revival has been prioritised by the new Safa leadership as one of their legacy projects for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"The first thing we are going to do is apply for funding from Fifa through the Goal Project for the refurbishing of the school," Safa vice president Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko said.

Mazibuko, a teacher by profession who once worked as residence manager at Excellence, has been appointed chairperson of the school board.

"It is clear the school needs a face-lift to take it back to the glory days when it was the base of about 80percent of the players in our junior national teams.

"For the past five years, the number of youngsters studying at the school who play for one of our junior national teams is nil.

"We will also be refurbishing the soccer fields and gymnasium. It is embarrassing that the school does not even have a proper laboratory.

"Our aim is to see the school looking like any other modern soccer academy, such as those of Manchester United or Chelsea in England.

"There are funds available from Fifa. All we need do is to apply for them. Our aim is to see all our junior national teams' players based there," Mazibuko said.

"In fact, the school should have been used as a training camp base for the national teams coming to South Africa for the World Cup."

Big-name graduates from the School of Excellence include Steven Pienaar, Dillon Sheppard, Masilo Modubi, Jeffrey Ntuka, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Bernard Parker, Daine Klate, Zitha Mofokeng and Dominic Isaacs.

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