A host of highly qualified coaches with years of expertise in football and youth development are leading the training sessions for the COPA Coca-Cola 2013 boot camp at the High Performance Center (HPC) in Pretoria.
A total of 10 coaches from the world-renowned South African football management firm, Forwardzone, have put together an array of training routines that will help improve not only the players’ skills with the ball but also their physical conditioning.
Led by the able and tactful Orlando Pirates youth team coach Junior Bhengu and his Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Shawn Bishop, the players got their first taste of expert training on Monday. The full day training session involved working on the players’ fitness levels, passing under pressure, endurance, dribbling, handling crosses, positioning, and movement off the ball among others.
Bhengu, a South Africa Football Association (SAFA) level II qualified coach has worked with many youth teams before and won several competitions and Bishop is a UEFA A licensed coach who currently serves as the Head of Youth and Technical Director at PSL side Sundowns.
The duo are working alongside 6 other competent coaches who have experience in working with youth development programmes in South Africa and beyond. Among them is Chris Mazibugo, a veteran of the game who has had stints with PSL clubs Maroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates and Jomo Cosmos.
“My area of interest is pressing, endurance and finding that pass. These are key areas for any modern day player and hopefully we will see a change once the training is complete,” said Mazibugo, a former Pirates youth development coach who currently trains a team based in Soweto.
Also in the coaching team is Lerato Kabamba; the soft-spoken coach is a specialist in youth football and is experienced in working with the Under-12 and Under-10 age groups. She currently coaches Yeoville Boys Academy in the South Africa Discover League, a set up meant to develop and nature budding talents. “I am focusing on one-on-one situations, closing down opponents and a wee bit of dribbling,” says Lerato who was called upon for her expertise for the English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs academy players in March and July this year.
The other coaches include Mamelodi Sundowns youth development and Banyana Banyana goalkeeping Coach Thomas Nare, current FC Alexandria coach Caesar Maphala who also worked with Mpumalanga Black Aces as an assistant coach, and Ashley Makhanya, the Bidvest Wits youth coach.
The second training session under the tutelage of the coaches will be held on Wednesday.
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