South African football legend Pollen Ndlanya will grace the talent search tournament in Berea next month. The football showpiece named after the former Kaizer Chiefs forward is meant to help unearth talented players in the district with the hope of securing moves to bigger clubs in the country. The organisers also dream big and hope that with Ndlanya’s influence in the game, some may even get transfers to South Africa.
Ndlanya will not be the only prominent attendee. The national team head coach Veselin Jelusic is scheduled to be present.
Speaking to FARPost, tournament coordinator Lebohang Moopisa said their presence would inspire the players to work even harder to impress. Although participants have no set age limit, he said they want to close the gap between senior and junior players.
“It’s like trials. We have invited clubs to come and scout players. For example, Bantu will be there if they see a player they like, they can invite him to have a look at him,” he said.
“Pollen will personally be there to watch, he is someone we have worked with for a long-time, and through him, we hope to make it easier for our players to move to South Africa,” he said.
Maroala and Mazenod Swallows will open the day’s proceedings and get M1 000 and bronze medals. The main game between the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) heavyweights Bantu and Mokhethoaneng squad will determine the winner. The winner will receive M5 000 prize money and gold medals, and the runners-up will go home with M1 500 and silver medals. The games will be played at Maroala ground on September 4.
Ndlanya enjoyed three spells with Chiefs, having first featured for them in the 90s as a teenager. After a dance with Manning Rangers, he shot to stardom in his second stint with Chiefs.
The older generation of Amakhosi fans will remember him as the hero who helped the Glamour Boys win the Rothmans Cup in 1997 after a penalty shootout against Mamelodi Sundowns.
By Tlalane Phahla
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