Makeover for School of Excellence

THE Transnet Football School of Excellence is to undergo a major face-lift soon after Fifa pledged to donate an initial amount of about R3 million.

This is aimed at reviving the academy that was once the pride of South African soccer. It features Steven Pienaar and Masilo Modubi as some of its products.

"We will be rolling out the revival process in phases," said South African Football Association deputy president Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko yesterday.

"Fifa have agreed to assist us financially but there are issues we are sorting out with regard to the ownership of the land where the school is situated.

"They (Fifa) wanted to be satisfied that the land belongs to Safa-Transnet Trust before making funds available to resuscitate the school.

"We will be meeting with the top brass at Transnet to speed up the transfer of the land ownership. Fifa will be paying us in phases, we appreciate their assistance.

"We will apply for a further R3million until the school is state-of-the-art," said Mazibuko, who also worked at the school when it was still a success.

Safa and the parastatal are joint owners of the school established in 1994. The Elandsfontein-based school is the brainchild of Ted Dumitru.

"Everything is back on track at the school. We had trials all over the country in 2010 with acting head coach Mandla Mazibuko in charge of the process," Mazibuko said.

"In the past few years we had a problem where the school was no longer attracting quality youngsters, players who will do well for our junior national teams.

"We are now going for quality again, we hope the Grade 12 results will be good too now that we have a new principal in Dirk Venter who is working hard to turn it around."

Other products of the school include Brett Evans, Jeff Ntuka, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Lynch Pule, Oscar Ramogoadi, Daine Klate, Bongani Thwala and Andile Cele.