FOUR young potential soccer stars from Nelson Mandela Bay leave for Johannesburg today for a chance of a lifetime.
Ncedo High School pupils Nkosiyethu Ndzelani and Thulani Motloung, as well as Warren Kops and Kieron Koert, join 42 hopefuls from around the country in the "Nike The Chance SA” finals at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto from tomorrow to Sunday.
More than 5500 aspiring footballers, aged between 16 and 22, competed in the regional trials in five cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Bloemfontein.
The 46 players will embark on an intense programme to measure their skills on the field. This will include physical tests conducted by fitness specialist Elsa Storm. Core team coaches Shaun Bartlett, Tebogo Moloi, Craig Rosslee and Arthur Zwane will be supported by coaches Wendell Robinson, Kamaal Sait and Lindani Shezi to track the progress of the players, who compete in on-field drills and small-sided games over three days.
On Saturday, 28 players will be shortlisted to make up two teams, which will play a full 90-minute match at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
This will undoubtedly be an experience like no other, as these players take to the renowned pitch reserved for the most elite players.
At the end of the match, the final three players to represent South Africa at the global finals in Barcelona next month will be announced.
In Barcelona they will compete against finalists from 55 nations around the world for a place in an elite 16-man Nike squad that will train at Nike clubs globally.