In this week’s SportPesa Clubhouse column, ambassador Doctor Khumalo spoke out about the development structures at the local clubs and pointed out that some of our teams fail to have a natural progression within their structures where a player moves from the development and joins the senior, rather the players are snatched away by other clubs.
The Kaizer Chiefs legend continued to voice his point of view on the matter.
“Here at home, we see teams develop players, only for those players to be snatched by other teams instead of the natural progression to the senior team. Like I said, there are so many players who are an example of this system where they were developed by one team only to get their breakthrough somewhere else.
“In some cases, the team that developed them is forced to buy them back when they played such a significant role in the player’s development. Yes, of course, not all development players will make it to their first team at the same time, but teams lose a lot of their development products. I have seen teams pay millions to get back a player they developed but lost through the system.
“There are people who walk around with purses of money to lure development players away from their mother clubs. That changes the dynamics because it is now more about business than it is about development. You find that some parents already depend on these young kids financially, so whoever brings more money, regardless of the player’s career prospect, gets the parents’ buy-in.
“At this stage, the focus is no longer on getting this rough diamond polished and prepared for the future, it is about making ends meet now. There’s a lot of money exchanging hands in the development structure and I’m not saying these boys must not be paid. I just wish to see more focus on developing the players instead of throwing figures around for U17 players.”
To check out the full column, check out this week’s edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1083 and read the SportPesa Clubhouse column with Doctor Khumalo.