The strength of a football club is often judged by the number of trophies accrued over a period of its existence.
However, modern strategies of elite high performance organizations demand that the overall club structure must have a well-run and a productive academy.
FARPost’s Investigative Unit takes a strategic look at the Mamelodi Sundowns Youth Academy and what it has achieved.
1. Academy structure
Sundowns Academy has age groups under their wings from Under-9 till the Reserve teams, and coached by a mixture of club legends and emerging youth coaches.
In Shawn Bishop, the Head of Methodology and Academy have a highly qualified administrative coach, with coaching and performance analysis niche.
2. Production line
Although Keegan Dolly and Siyanda Xulu were poached from the School of Excellence and Kaizer Chiefs respectively, the likes of Percy Tau, pictured below, came very raw to the Sundowns nest.
A previous programme headed by the late Ted Dumitru, as well as Zipho Dlangalala, Sudesh Singh, Floyd Mogale and Thomas Nare, laid the foundation for the production and development of Buhle Mkhwanazi, Dolly, Tau, Xulu, Lucky Nguzana and Mahlatse Makudubela.
3. Sophisticated scouting
The Sundowns programme also relies on their network of scouts across the country. Head of Scouting Esrom Nyandoro, oversee a sophisticated strategy that includes regional and provincial scouts.
These regional and provincial scouts takes care of the amateur, youth and school scouting across the country, including the remote rural areas.
4. Tournament presence
Their scouts based at Chloorkop travel all over the country and join their local, regional and provincial scouts at different locations where there are tournaments.
Over the years, Sundowns scouts have been seen at festive, provincial and international tournaments representing the brand and sourcing the best talent.
5. NFD strategy
With the production line from the Youth Academy surpassing their internal demand, Sundowns have now taken their potential players to play in the GladAfrica Championship.
At least 12 Academy graduates have been placed in the NFD to gain more experience and game time, a factor that only affirms their forward-thinking and productive appetite in youth football development.
By FARPost Technical Study Group