The Supersport United Youth Academy has entrenched itself in the Youth Development hearts of many parents, players and coaches alike in affording a responsible and warm platform for nurturing young and potential talented football hopefuls.
The Academy has crafted an interesting Youth Development curriculum which has been well supported by Dutch club Feyernood and English side Tottenham Hotspur at different intervals and as such players like Keagan Buchanan, Thato Mokeke, Ronwen Williams, Kermit Erasmus and Kamohelo Mokotjo have all benefited in the technical-tactical from those partnerships.
But of key interest here is the resurgence and complete transformation of the midfield-general Buchanan, who has enjoyed a scintillating comeback in the PSL after years of lack of game time and a horrific spell on the side-lines due to long-term injuries.
FARPost took a closer look at Buchanan and unravelled juicy insight into the actual DNA of this Maritzburg United midfielder.
1. Sound development base
FARPost went to trace the roots of Buchanan and in doing so, we engaged the 2 youth coaches who were central in his early development, namely Godfrey Mosoetsa and Kwanele Kopo, both of SuperSport United.
Where did it all start with Buchanan, FARPost asked Coach Mosoetsa?
“Keegan came to join the Academy from Old Mutual Academy in Cape Town and immediately we could see his high technical ability and proficiency to utilize both feet,” began the Coach.
“His application to pass both short and long, including his overall tactical awareness made him a classical for Supersport tactical structure,” concluded Coach Mosoetsa.
Buchanan represented South Africa at youth level but his trajectory has somewhat been hampered by a lot of things. We asked Coach Kopo who was his coach in the Under-19 team to dwell more on this player.
“Buchanan has a great creative thinking, excellent ability to play in spaces (narrow or crowded) and the right timing to execute all possible passing moments,” said Kopo.
“We also changed his inclination to play as a deep-seated playmaker but encouraged him to be more attack-minded and be effective in his overall play,” remarked Kopo, who’s also the assistant coach of the SA U23 team.
2. Midfield Combination with Miguel Timm
Both Buchanan and Timm come from the SuperSport Academy and have forged a strategic midfield synergy of the highest order.
Timm provides the midfield stability and oozes a steal midfield bite when necessary. He provides the perfect starting point to build-up from the back, creates the right angles for midfield triangulation in possession play and supply the 2nd midfield line in the incision phase.
Buchanan on the other hand controls the midfield possession in the intermediate zone, drives the triangulation from side to side, joins in the attack and provides telling passes needed in the finishing phase.
Buchanan and Timm complement each other and have developed a telepathic understanding to spearhead a complete awakening of the Team of Choice.
3. The ‘Tinkler Factor’
The United Coach Eric Tinkler has been smart in setting up his team in this campaign, choosing to be flexible and carefully structured in his approach to both attack and defensive vision. Buchanan has been given a license to look for the ball, use it wisely and push the team’s incredible impetus to use possession fruitfully.
Buchanan has delivered 2 Man of the Match performances against Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu this season, and his change in embracing the United counterattacking approach shows a player whose mental strength has improved remarkably.
Even though his character requires some massive alteration, the willingness to adapt to the demanding style of United coupled with some MOTM displays augurs well for a complete transformational direction in the re-birth of this tiny Cape maestro.
*Maritzburg take on Cape Town City at Harry Gwala Stadium tonight (20:00).
By FARPost Reporters
Pictures courtesy of Maritzburg United