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Eugene Zwane on ‘what sets Jomo Sono apart from others’ in scouting

Former Orlando Pirates winger Eugene Zwane has explained the distinguishing factors that set Jomo Sono apart from other football talent scouts in South Africa.

Sono is one of the most renowned names in SA football. He has empowered many in society through his role in discovering and developing new football talent, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

His club, Jomo Cosmos, during its time in both the top-flight and the second tier, was a launching pad for many footballers who went on to have successful careers.

Despite falling to the semi-professional third tier of South African football, Jomo Sono remains actively involved in running the club.

Zwane, who also turned out for Jomo Cosmos, says being a “township guy” was what set Sono apart from others who were into discovering talent. 

He believes this gave Sono an edge as he’d easily hear of good players in the area or even beyond.


“What sets Jomo apart from everybody else is that he was very much a township guy,” said Zwane during the interview with FARPost.

Eugene Zwane on 'what sets Jomo Sono apart from others' in scouting
Eugene Zwane – Picture Facebook/947

“He spent a lot of time in townships, at that time he was staying in Orlando. So, he was watching games everywhere around the township even outside the township.

“When he hears that there’s a player at Newcastle, he gets into the car and go watch that player, there’s a player at Stilfontein, he goes there. That’s why he was able to unearth a talent.

“He was ready to drive to wherever to go and watch the player. If he’s happy with that player, he takes them.”

Zwane says Sono had the natural ability to identify talent on a single viewing, unlike other scouts who required multiple observations to make a proper assessment.


“But now there are scouts, they go and look for players. But now there’s a level of passion and the understanding of the game is not the same,” added Zwane.

“So, Jomo would look at the player once and say this is what I’m looking for whereas scouts have to go three, four, five times before they’re convinced that the player is right.

“So, I think for Jomo, it’s a talent or his natural ability. That’s why he has been so successful.”

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