Mashaba, Zondo vow Ke Yona team will come good

Shakes Mashaba and fellow coach Khabo Zondo are determined to dismiss the notion that the Nedbank Ke Yona team was little more than a PR exercise.

Every year, the broadcasted Ke Yona Team Search scours the country for the best young talent before putting them through trials and selecting a final squad. PSL squads then have an opportunity to draft in the participants. Bongani Sam, Aubrey Modiba and Bongani Mbuli are three of the notables discovered this way.

The youngsters then face off in a traditional match against the Nedbank Cup champions – which in recent years have included games against PSL giants such as Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns.

It hasn’t gone too well for the up-and-comers, each one of those exhibitions has been lost and last year yielded the only goal they’ve scored.

“At Nedbank there’s one thing that we respect-gradual process,” Mashaba insisted on Tuesday ahead of this year’s game against Free State Stars. “We don’t want to kill ourselves and say ‘this year we need to score 10 goals’. No. What we’re looking at is where we need to improve.

“We played a game yesterday, we saw the improvement in the big match temperament in these boys. That’s why we’re so confident. That’s the main component in terms of players exerting themselves, displaying their skills – to have confidence. Don’t doubt yourselves.”

Mashaba warned that Free State Stars would suffer this newfound confidence first-hand, and would have the misfortune of being the first PSL team to lose the annual challenge against the amateurs.

The Nedbank Ke Yona challenge is scheduled for a 3pm kick-off on Sunday at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa. Tickets are free and anyone can pick up a maximum of four from Computicket.

Last year, Modiba and Thuso Phala netted to give SuperSport United a 2-1 win in the challenge.

“Remember, we only have ten days to prepare these youngsters,” Zondo added. “When you’re in a match, tactical awareness must be improved, physical components must also be taken care of. All those aspects at times are very difficult to make sure that they’re well attended to.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

Related stories

The Hunt is on for ruthlessness

Kaizer Chiefs’ new coach may have all the excuses but he’s likely just buying time for his ethos to take root

Bob, Doctor and that oddball South African classic, ‘Get Funky’

Doctor Khumalo remembers his late friend Bob Mabena and their time working together on ‘Get Funky’

10 years on: The legacy of the 2010 World Cup

In the first part of our new series, we take a look at the goal that has played on loop in our heads and on TV channels for the last decade

Instinctive Chiefs prove their title credentials

Amakhosi have flipped the popular narrative on its head, winning the Soweto Derby 1-0, and are now favourites to lift the PSL trophy

Bucs weary of Chiefs’ Derby trap

Pirates look unstoppable, but few Soweto Derbies in recent memory have been this important

How Joseph Shabalala’s Mambazo chopped the competition down

The founder of the group’s openness to collaboration took Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s isicathamiya music around the globe

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Journey through anxious Joburg

A new book has collected writing about the condition of living, yes, with a high crime rate, but also other, more pervasive existential urban stresses particular to the Global South

Football legend Maradona dies

The Argentinian icon died at his home on Wednesday, two weeks after having surgery on a blood clot in his brain

Covid vaccines: Hope balanced with caution

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…