The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations has brought fun, flair and fantastic football to South Africa. It has also provided inspiration to those who will take part in the 2013 Future Players Talent Search.
Everyone begins somewhere. African soccer stars like Didier Drogba, Seydou Keita and Asamoah Gyan were once youngsters who dreamt of making it big in football. They just needed someone to recognise their talent and put them on the path to success. These players serve as inspiration to thousands of young footballers from around Gauteng who have dreams of playing for their country one day.
Banyana Banyana star Refiloe Jane, a former Future Players Talent Search winner, has already fulfilled her dream. In 2012, the player represented South Africa in the African Women’s Championships, as well as in the Olympic Games. The talent search was an integral part of her success.
Now in its fifth year, the search forms part of the Future Champions Gauteng tournament. This event will see some of the best international under-17 club sides descend on the province for a tournament to be played between 25 and 30 March 2013.
The talent search got under way this weekend with two district trials, part of 10 sets of trials to take place across the province between now and March 17.
This year, in conjunction with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and the Gauteng Department of Education, organisers aim to have 10 000 young boys and girls participate in the structured, talent identification programme.
The programme not only gives the participants a chance to showcase their football ability, it also provides an opportunity for them to receive life-skills training from Grassroots Soccer, This initiative focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness and motivates learners to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The youngsters will also be treated to a food pack from loyal partner, Pick n Pay.
The top three winners will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train with an overseas team and to learn just what it takes to be a professional footballer for a top club.
Each set of trials for the 2013 Future Players Talent Search will start at 09h00 and finish at 15h00. The best youngsters from the 10 district trials will be chosen for the semi-finals on March 23. The final will be staged at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville on March 30.
The 10 district trials will take place on the following dates and at these venues:
9 February: Gauteng North & Tshwane South - Mamelodi Central Ground
10 February: Johannesburg South - Ennerdale Sports Complex
16 February: Ekurhuleni South & North - School Sports of Excellence
16 February: Johannesburg West - Braamfisher Sport Complex
17 February: Sedibeng East & West - Cecil Old Ridge
23 February: Johannesburg East - Johannesburg Stadium
23 February: Tshwane North & West - Hillview High school
16 March: Johannesburg Central & North - UJ Soweto Campus
16 March: Gauteng West - Greenhills Stadium
17 March: Gauteng East - Kwa-Tema Sports Complex
23 March: Semi-final - Venue to be confirmed
30 March: Final - Nike Football Training Centre, Pimville
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