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Future Champions Gauteng Talent Search programme heads for Soshanguve

By FOCUS REPORTER

The 2011 Future Champions Gauteng Talent Search moves on to the Soshanguve Block X Sport Complex on March 13
as a former participant in the programme undertakes a trial at a Brazilian club.

Andile Nqabeni, originally from Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, plays as a striker for the Kaizer Chiefs development side and has signed a professional
contract with the team, though this season he has been on loan at Vodacom League side Soweto Panthers.

Nicknamed 'Eto'o' after Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o, Nqabeni finished in the top three in the 2010 Talent Search programme, leading to a one-week
visit to the academies of top Brazilian sides Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro in December.

The youngster impressed while at the clubs, leading to another Brazilian outfit, Brasilis Futebol Clube, offering him a two week trial with the Sao
Paolo team. Ngabeni left on March 7 and was excited at the prospect of furthering his career in South America.

"It is an honour for me to be asked back to Brazil and I want to use the opportunity to the fullest. The Talent Search programme gave me this
opportunity and I am proof of how it can open doors for young players. It gives youngsters the chance to shine and it is up to them to take the
opportunity," Ngabeni said before his departure. 

The latest leg of the Talent Search programme takes in Soshanguve Block X Sport Complex. Sunday's event will see youngsters from the Tshwane North and
Tshwane West strut their stuff. Over 5,000 learners have already been through the programme in 2011 and
competition has been fierce as we approach the semi-finals in just a few weeks time.

Aside from the football training and the coaching, each learner who participates in the Talent Search also undergoes a life skills programme. It
is a 45-minute curriculum course, which taps the power and popularity of football to break stigmas, dramatically increase awareness and change
behaviours to combat HIV/Aids. 

Other supporters of the Talent Search are Pick 'n Pay, who provide food and drink for all the participating learners on each day, and sportswear giant
Nike, who provide the footballing gear for the coaches.

The finals of the Talent Search will be held during the 2011 Future Champions Gauteng tournament that will be held from March 28 to April 2,
where the top three young individuals will be chosen. The winners will embark on a trip of a lifetime overseas, where they will visit and train at
a top international club. 

The Talent Search, now in its third year, saw Soweto's Refiloe Jane win in 2009, and she, along with runners-up, Tshwane's Frans Kagiso Kekana and
Daveyton's Sibusiso Molefe, headed off for a dream trip to Manchester, England, organised by international sports firm Global Sports International,
where they trained with some of the best young players in the Under-17 age-group from around the world.

In 2010, the Talent Search produced winners in young rising stars Rorisang Tlhabane, Nqabeni and Sboniso Mncwabe, who went to Belo Horizonte in Brazil
for a week of training at the youth academies of top Brazilian clubs Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro.

2011 Talent seach days:
Tomorrow: Soshanguve Block X Sport Complex Tshwane North, Tshwane West
March 20: Central Sports Grounds Tshwane South, Gauteng North with the semifinals taking place the following day.

 

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