The Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge is renowned for showcasing some of the best talent in the country.
Perhaps what’s not often said is that it’s also a great platform to revive careers; to show what you can still do out there on the field of play, on the back of setbacks.
This is why Xolani Nkala travels from Tembisa to play in the colours of NC Zasco.
The name may not ring a bell…
But for the followers of Mbombela United, who are in the GladAfrica Championship, it’s a familiar name.
Nkala was also at Pretoria Callies, another ABC Motsepe League side, but he’s now clubless.
At 23, it’s now or never for the winger, but he’s hopeful that the scouts at the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge may spot him and present him with an opportunity to resurrect his career.
“I was born in Tembisa and live with my mom – she’s a single parent, so it’s important for me to play the game and not just enjoy the game, but also provide for my family,” Nkala starts off.
“There are scouts around here,” says Nkala, speaking from Nike Football Training Centre. “It’s an opportunity for me to show my talent.”
Nkala admits his career has hit a dead end, but what he realises is that there’s always hope for those that are participating at the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge, hence he accepted the invitation from Zasco.
“I was with Mbombela for two seasons and had a two-year contract, but it was not renewed.
“I went looking for another team and ended up playing for Pretoria Callies,” he says.
For the scouts watching, Nkala’s best position is right wing and he’s ready to impress, like the many who are also playing at the tournament in what is the 17th edition of the tournament.
“If I get my chance, I can do well in the PSL or even GladAfrica Championship,” continues Nkala, who had a trial with Highlands Park’s Multichoice Diski Challenge team, without success.
“Highlands Park were looking for U23 players and I’m already 23, so it was always going to be difficult,” he reasons.
“I have hope, because I’m playing at this tournament,” Nkala adds.
To stay updated on the tournament, follow Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge 2019 on Facebook and use the hashtag #DWSSC19 across platforms to follow all the action.
Gates will open at 9am daily and entry is free.