The Free State International Football Program kicked off with success as the Feyenoord Academy coaches identified their three top youth players who will be attending a week long training camp with in Rotterdam with the Feyenoord Academy.
The players, Kutlwano Ntholeng from Mangaung (15 years), Thabang Thoabala from Mangaung (15 years) and Dumisani Milanzi from Bethlehem (15 years) showed promise as the coaches assessed players according to skill and strength. Age also played a factor in the selection.
Retired Nigerian International and Feyenoord striker, Michael Obiku, while impressed with depth of talent in the Free State found that the players “peers [by age 17] at the international level were already seated with professional contracts with few having been exposed to the World Cup.”
The Mayor of Ngwathe Local Municipality, Ms Joey Mochela was on hand to announce the winners. She also emphasised the role of football in society, “Football plays a vital part in youth development, it assists young people to be focused and destructive them from activities such as drugs and crime.” The event took place in Parys during the second of week of October as an initiative between Simsport International, Feyenoord and the Free State Tourism Authority.
AWARD WINNING FEYENOORD ACADEMY BACK IN SOUTH AFRICA
Simsport International is proud to bring the prestigious award-wining Feyenoord Academy back to South Africa.
The Feyenoord Academy, will join Simsport International and the Free State Province in the running of the recently renamed Free State International Football Programme. The project previously carried out in partnership with Bolton Wanderers International Soccer Schools, will provide a select group of young football talent from South Africa to be trained from the best coaches in youth football today.
Gido Vader manager of International relations at Feyenoord “It is a privilege for Feyenoord to come back to South Africa, a country with such love for the game and so much raw talent. We hope this will be a start of a long lasting relationship.”
“The FSTA is pleased to be associated with the award winning football academy, it prides us as the entity to be giving these young Free Staters an opportunity of a lifetime to learn from the best” says CEO of Free State tourism, DhilosenPillay.
Rasthoem Simons of Simsport International added, “It’s certainly a coup for the Free State to secure the opportunity to host one of the World’s top football academies. The partnership with Feyenoord will also expose and promote the province to the people of the Netherlands a key tourism market for the Free State. “
Two coaches from Feyenoord will arrive from Rotterdam for a week camp in Parys (at the newly built Fezile Dabi Stadium) in the Free State during the October school holidays. One of the coaches is Feyenoord legend and Nigerian born Michael Obiku. The partnership kicks off with two boys selected to go to Feyenoord to train with the Academy for a week. The boys were selected following trials, training camps and vigorous testing and assessments in the Free State earlier in the year as well as the Parys camp.
Feyenoord has produced more players than any other club that was actively involved in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has been awarded the Rinus Michels Award by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) for the best youth development club in the Netherlands for an unprecedented five times in a row. Manchester United and Dutch International Robin Van Persie as well as former Dutch captain and FC Barcelona star Giovanni van Bronckhorst carry the Feyenoord playing DNA.