KwaZulu Natal Football Academy technical co-ordinator Julio Lorenzo has pleaded to potential sponsors to come to the fore, as the academy is struggling.
Speaking to FARPost the Portuguese revealed that they are short-staffed and they have to deal with all their teams, six days a week.
“So far the academy does not have too many sponsors and support, we need to try and find help, we need support it’s a big project,” stated Lorenzo.
“It’s eight teams around 170 players everyday working from Tuesdays to Sundays, six days a week with short sfaff. The academy needs more support, this kind of project is unique in the country.”
“It’s very difficult for us to keep this thing afloat when when we have a lot of issues. After Covid-19 period, we had a lot of problems, but we are trying our best,” said Lorenzo.
He further revealed that their aim is to take their players to overseas teams, where they’ve built relations with agents and teams.
“Our target is to try and find talent in Durban and around Durban, sometimes we are able to go more far to other regions in the country. We try to develop talent and place them in Europe, overseas, it is the main target,” he continued.
“Of course it’s not possible for everyone to achieve that road and the ones that are not able to fly overseas and play professional football, the academy tries to place them in South Africa.
“The national team is very important for us, so far we already have a few players playing for Bafana Bafana and the younger ages. I hope in the near future we can have a few more, many more to put ourselves to a different level,” added Lorenzo.
The academy grooms soccer players from as early as 10 years of age and they graduate until they get to the U19 team which plays in SAB Regional League.
“We try to find them at a very young age, some stay in the academy so far, under my co-ordination. I started with the first generation in 2017, kids that were born in 2003 and after five years they are ready to fly.
“I’m very happy with the progress so far, this academy is connected from U11 to U19. They graduate from age group to another until we send them overseas,” concluded Lorenzo.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter