It’s a little over five years since the Multichoice Diski Challenge was introduced and there have been several hits and misses.
The reserve league now has an U21 age limitation, but that wasn’t always the case with fringe players from the senior team in the Premier Soccer League able to get game-time to fight their way back or gain match fitness following injury.
Menzi Masuku was the first success story a few months after he’d turned 21 and joined Orlando Pirates from Jomo Cosmos.
Click through the gallery to see a few of the MDC graduates and where they are now
The attacker was loaned out two seasons later to Chippa United never to return back to the Buccaneers as he is now at Bloemfontein Celtic and a key player there. Percy Tau is currently living a fairy-tale as he’s ticked off the Santiago Bernabeu and Old Trafford off his bucket list as a footballer wearing the Club Brugge Jersey.
Tau featured prominently in the MDC for Mamelodi Sundowns during the 201/15 season and the rest, as they say, is history!
Kaizer Chiefs were also quick to promote from their youth to the senior team even long before the launch of the MDC – players like Lorenzo Gordinho, Zitha Macheke, Khotso Malope, Pule Ekstein and Simphiwe Mtsweni all getting a look during the era of Stuart Baxter and Steve Komphela at Naturena.
These players were part of the Amakhosi youth structures and grew in stature in the new Diski Challenge league.
Gordinho had some success, but officially left the club permanently to join Bidvest Wits in January, while Macheke never got going at Chiefs. He is also currently at Wits.
Malope, Ekstein and Mtsweni are no longer Amakhosi players as well, with Ekstein the most popular of the trio until his departure last year.