The Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth was host to the second leg of the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search on Saturday, 30 April. After a succesful kick off in Bloemfontein on Freedom Day, aspiring footballers from around the Eastern Cape made their way to the small township of KwaZakhele to partner with Nedbank.
The hometown of 2015 Ke Yona Team and current Platinum Stars defender, Thamsanqa Gwabeni saw close to 500 footballers put up their best performances for the Ke Yona Team selecting quartet of Shakes Mashaba, Owen Da Gama, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena. The fourth edition of the country’s largest talent search initiative sees Nedbank travelling across five provinces to identify a total of 45 players who will make their way to the Ke Yona team Bootcamp in June.
The Ke Yona Team search try outs have become synonymous with stories of triumph and determination. Young footballers across the country who have dreams of one day playing football at the highest echelon come from far and near to pit their skills against other competitors with the hope impressing the panel of coaches and make it through to the next round of the competition.
“It is wonderful to see young men from all walks of life gathering in these venues and giving it their best, at Nedbank we take pride in providing such platforms that will enable us to connect with our clients and communities to enable them in turning their dreams into a reality” and make the things that really matter happen,” said Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at Nedbank.
In line with Nedbank’s on-going commitment to community upliftment through sports, two primary schools from Port Elizabeth were beneficiaries to full sets of soccer kits to assist them in kick starting their football careers at an early age.Walmer West Primary School and Settlers Park Primary School were the beneficiary schools of the soccer kits. Learners present at the handover were visibly excited at the opportunity to meet the experienced quartet of Ke Yona selectors Shakes Mashaba, Owen Da Gama, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena.
Commenting on the talent in Port Elizabeth, Ke Yona Team selector, Zondo said that Port Elizabeth has given the selectors a selection headache with the great pool of talent.
“We are excited with the talent we have seen here in Port Elizabeth. We have seen a number of talented players coming out of the Eastern Cape over the years, including our very own Thamsanqa Gwabeni who is at Platinum Stars at the moment. We look forward to seeing the talent at the next provinces” said Zondo.
The Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search will now head to the Western Cape with try-outs happening at Athlone Stadium.Successful applicants are reminded to bring their Identity Documents when coming to the stadium for the trials.
Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search Dates:
Province & Stadium Try Out Date Try Out Times
Western Cape, Athlone Stadium 02 May 2016 11:00 – 15:00
KwaZulu-Natal, King Zwelithini Stadium 07 May 2016 11:00 – 15:00
Gauteng, Rand Stadium 21 May 2016 11:00 – 15:00
Lucas Moripe Stadium 4 June 2016 11:00 – 15:00