In KwaZulu Natal, opportunities are few and far between hence coach Mbuso Ndlovu and his side KZN Shining Stars have travelled approximately 346 kilometres from the small town of Dannhauser, near Newcastle to take part in the 17th edition of the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge.
The tournament has been running since the beginning of the month at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto.
Speaking after their 1-0 win against Witbank City Spurs FC on Saturday, Ndlovu said the exposure was the main reason they travelled so many kilometres to play in the tournament.
“In simple terms, exposure is the reason we travelled all the way from Dannhauser to Soweto,” said Ndlovu.
They might not have the best accommodation in a five star hotel as they stay at a nearby school named Lulama primary, but coach Ndlovu said their main goal is to finish in the top 16, find opportunities for his boys and get exposure as well.
Ndlovu hopes that some of his boys will be spotted by one of the big Premier Soccer League teams to join their development structures.
“We actually need them to get some exposure for them so we are building opportunities for these boys. Our goal is to reach the top 16, it will be a bonus if we could manage to be in the top 8 but I don’t mean to say that we don’t want to lift the cup.”
Ndlovu, who holds a SAFA B Licence coaching qualification, continued, “the Discovery Challenge is tough but the boys are coping because they have played two games and they lost their opening game on Wednesday 1-0 against Marox FC and won the second match one 1-0 versus Witbank City Spurs FC.”
The KZN youth team was also part of the 16th edition of the Discovery Challenge where they narrowly failed to progress to the knockout stages finishing in third place but Coach Ndlovu said they have a much better and stronger side this time around.
“Compared to last year, we are playing much better now, their improvement is very much excellent, and I appreciate their efforts. In order to succeed the boys must just focus and do their own thing,” concluded Ndlovu.
The Discovery Walter Sisulu Discovery Challenge is known for affording aspiring professional footballers and youngsters a platform to showcase their talents and shine.
To stay updated on the tournament, follow Discovery Walter Sisulu Challenge 2019 on Facebook and use the #DWSSC19 across all platforms to follow the action.
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.