In its third and most prominent year the Sbonis’iDiski football development programme continues to expand its footprint with the strong hopes of reaching over 20 000 aspiring football stars with the ultimate football opportunity.
In the last two years the initiative had over a thousand hopefuls put their best boot forward and the top six rising stars lived their dream of training with the kings of Stanford Bridge Chelsea FC at the Cobham training grounds. One lucky player is still training with the Buccaneers, Orlando Pirates FC under the Multichoice Diski Challenge contract.
Year three casts a wider net with world class opportunities for players, coaches and fans alike.
Shield continues to cement its commitment to upskilling and empowering the next football generation by ensuring the development programme has coaching clinics with world class advisory and guidance from Chelsea and Orlando Pirates FC coaches. This year there will be 25 coaches across the country taking part in the campaign, with the aim of imparting knowledge in the various communities. The programme will reach more regions this year, expanding from five regions namely; Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Durban to ten regions; Johannesburg, Pretoria, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Bloemfontein, Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Cape Town in year three to find the best in football talent.
We’ve been extremely fortunate to see the impact that this initiative has had on young lives such as the 2017 pack leaders Alonzo Khun, who is currently training with the Polokwane City, and Joshua Jerome Roman in the Castle League division with his eyes still set on completing his studies.
“Our aim is not just to go into these communities scouting for talented football players, but to holistically change the lives of these communities by upskilling the coaches who will ensure that we produce a pool of quality players each year and equip the local clubs with some needed football kits,” says, Gareth Marshall Senior Brand Manager for Shield Men South Africa.
Building on previous success, the development programmed has enlisted three-time English Premier League champions Manchester City and Spain’s La Liga to join Orlando Pirates FC and Chelsea FC as partners of the Shield Sbonis’iDiski football development programme. These global teams have their eye on South African football talent, showing that our local talent pool is key to the international world of football.
The new partnerships will also give an opportunity to include football fanatics who will stand the chance to win a once in a lifetime ultimate football fan experience to watch a Manchester City or Chelsea game live in Europe. A local football legend will also join the campaign to groom and mentor the budding stars in preparation for the gruelling world of professional football, fuelling their fire and strengthening their desires to pursue the ultimate challenge of going pro.
“This generation of football players is incredible and it’s an honour to work together to produce quality players and partake in the development of this great sport that we love,” says Thandi Merafe, Media Officer for Orlando Pirates Football Club.
From March to June 2019 scouting will take place across the country and the top 25 players will be selected to travel to Pretoria for trials in July, and ultimately kick off year three of the football development programme. The top three players in 2019 will travel to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground under the supervision of the Chelsea coaching staff, but only one of the hopefuls will become this year’s Shield Ultimate Player taking home the 1-year contract with Orlando Pirates FC.
As a fan, you can enter to stand a chance of winning by purchasing any Shield product and dialling the USSD code with the last four digits of the barcode on pack. For more information on dates and times and other key information to join the try outs, visit www.shield.co.za. Ensure that you retain your till slip as proof of purchase. T&Cs available on Shield.co.za.
To be part of this exciting journey, join the conversation using #MoveWithShield and visit our social media pages: