Reality television has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, talent shows are a big part of this trend. Throngs of people queue for hours on end for a shot at fame and fortune as these shows come with lucrative contracts.
The trend has not only hit the arts industry, it has now spread to the sports industry, soccer specifically. Corporate giants Nedbank who sponsors, the Nedbank Cup and Castle Lager, South Africa’s all time soccer friend have each come up with a program to “unearth South Africa’s future stars”.
Coaches and former international players were selected to conduct trials around the country to scout talented players and form a squad that can be developed to be future internationals. The final squad of 23 players for Nedbank dubbed the Ke Yona team would play the 2012/13 season Nedbank Cup winners. On the 2nd of February the team played Kaizer Chiefs 2012/13 Nedbank Cup champs, I cannot say I saw a player who would offer the PSL what it does not already have – stray passes, poor first touch and poor finishing.
We need proper development programs and structures where technical and tactical abilities can be enhanced from an early age. South African Football Association (SAFA) cannot do it alone though, we need corporate South Africa to come to the party.
SAFA recommended in their Lekgotla after the CHAN failure that we need soccer academies in all 9 provinces, these would help develop future internationals not these talent shows by Castle & Nedbank.