With the Durban phase of the Shield Sbonis'iDiski campaign completed, head coach Dumisani Thusi has revealed that the Orlando Pirates coaches are excited about the talent they have cast their eyes over thus far in the campaign.
The talent-spotting contest sponsored by Shield visited the Durban University of Technology over the weekend, and Shield coach Thusi spoke to Soccer Laduma to offer an update on how the campaign has fared thus far.
"The (Orlando) Pirates coaches have been happy from the regions that we have visited," Thusi told Soccer Laduma.
"They have been quite excited at the talent that they have seen. We always say that we have plenty of talent in South Africa.
"I cannot say that they have necessarily identified one player, because we often see good players when we travel around South Africa.
"But I can say Pirates coaches are excited. Last week, we went to the Northern Cape and they were excited about the talent."
Thusi also gave aspiring footballers wanting to take part in the campaign two bits of crucial advice.
"Two things from my side: players need to show love for what they are doing, and know that you as a player are representing big brands in Shield and Orlando Pirates," he added
"Football these days is big business, therefore there will be lots of corporates. So I think we need to start at an early stage and share this knowledge with the youngsters. They must dress and behave as a professional.
"It starts with the way you behave when you come into the trials. Behave, respect your fellow teammates, respect the coaches and it will show that you respect where you come from.
"If you do that, you will earn the respect of the selectors. If you get a contract with a big club like Pirates, you must always behave yourself.
"There are always challenges on and off the field."
Upon the conclusion of the nationwide trials in June, the top 25 players will be selected to travel to Pretoria for trials in July.
Thereafter, the three winners will be chosen, and they will then travel to Chelsea's famous Cobham training ground to train under the guidance of Premier League giants' coaching staff.
One aspiring footballer will be crowned the 2019 Shield Ultimate Player, and will take home a one-year contract with Pirates' reserve team.
As a fan, you can enter the contest to stand a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime and fully-paid VIP experience with Manchester City at their home ground or at a LaLiga game in Spain by purchasing any Shield product and dialling the USSD code with the last four digits of the barcode on the packaging.
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.