Over the weekend of October 5 and 6 we had wonderful and exciting league finals. It’s just a sad sight to see where our under-nines to under-17 players must practice, not even on proper soccer fields.
There’s not one soccer field that we can say is world class standard. No wonder the boys with all the talent just fade away.
The interest in soccer from the age of six up to under-17 is growing each year. When it comes to the senior level, many of our young ones fade away or do not play soccer anymore.
The reason for this, which is my view, is that there is very little or no development in a soccer future. How many academies are in Port Elizabeth?
Internationally we have only two players, Steven Pienaar and Thulani Serero, both not eager to represent their country of birth. Why?
If we look at soccer for example in the northern areas, look at the infrastructure. Our fields are beneath third world standards.
Visit, for example, the so-called training field at Varsvlei, near the Varsvlei swimming pool. The boys’ skills are honed there, without lines and goal posts.
The games they play are on pitches with more holes then grass. The coaches do their utmost in keeping the boys interested in soccer, for example the under-11 Ebenezer coach who won all his games in the league irrespective of the poor conditions.
My plea to Jordaan is really to look into the development of soccer in South Africa and in particular in the Eastern Cape.
The national team should reflect the entire nation.
- Reginald Saptoe, Port Elizabeth