Magolego rates grassroots drive

FORMER Bafana Bafana defender Joas "Apla" Magolego has embraced Fifa and Safa's Grassroots Football initiative, saying it is good to see Safa going back to basics in the development of the game.

FORMER Bafana Bafana defender Joas "Apla" Magolego has embraced Fifa and Safa's Grassroots Football initiative, saying it is good to see Safa going back to basics in the development of the game.

Magolego is one of the 30 development coaches who will attend the Grassroots Football workshop, which is for coaches of young players between the ages of nine and 12.

The workshop gets under way today at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria and will run until Friday.

It will culminate in a grassroots soccer festival at the Mamelodi Central Grounds, next to the upgraded HM Pitje Stadium.

"This is a wonderful programme by Fifa and Safa. In fact, it is long overdue. It will augment the mass participation programme for our youngsters," Magolego said.

"The only way for us as South Africans to once more become giant-killers in soccer is to channel more resources into development.

"It is good that Fifa and Safa will roll out this programme to all the nine provinces," said Magolego, a teacher at Legora Primary School in Mamelodi.

Magolego is also running the Mamelodi Sundowns academy satellite office in Mamelodi.

German Horst Kriete, former Safa director of coaching, will conduct the workshop. Kriete is now attached to Fifa's coaching education programme.

Safa technical director Serame Letsoaka said the project will help them to introduce young South Africans to competitive soccer at an early age.

"I still remember when some of us were growing up, there were many divisions where almost everybody was afforded the platform to play soccer.

"We want to revive that spirit and I'm happy something has been put in place to achieve this," he said.

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