South Africa has seen a number of young players starting to make strides overseas through European academies.
Some of these players were born in South Africa and left early, while some were born outside the country to South African parents. FARPost singles out three teenage strikers riding through the ranks in Europe.
SIYABONGA LIGENDZA (17)
Born in the city of Leicester in England to a South African mother and German father, Ligendza relocated to South Africa as a toddler before moving back abroad with his parents at the age of four. He settled in the city of Swansea in Wales which is where he started playing for the local club before being scouted by Cardiff City at the age of 11 which is where he has spent almost all his life. The striker rose through the ranks at Cardiff until the U18s which is where he plays now. Last season he scored 24 league goals for the U16s before his imminent promotion to the U18s where he has been doing well too. Ligendza sometimes also plays for the U23 squad but next season will be hoping to be full time there.
ANDRAS NEMETH (17)
Born in Cape Town before relocating to Europe, 17-year-old Andras Nemeth is already a wanted man in Europe with clubs like Liverpool chasing his signature with the Genk teenager touted as the next big striker in European football. Nemeth signed his first professional contract at the age of 16 with Genk looking to secure his services for a very long time. Nemeth has, however, represented his second country Hungary in two major tournaments, first the U17 Euro where he guided Hungary to qualification for the U17 FIFA World Cup in 2019 before being loaned out to Belgian second tier side SK Lommel on a six month deal. Nemeth is already a first team player at a tender age and is surely a player to watch for the future.
MAX MCMILLAN (18)
Born in Yorkshire England to a South African father McMilan was scouted by Leeds United from U8 and the striker has been at Elland Road for a decade now. McMilan has gone through the youth ranks under top coaches until now where he currently plays for the side’s U18/23 development squads. McMilan’s best attributes are his skills on the ball, pace and natural finishing instinct.
In an interview with FARPost earlier this year, the forward declared his allegiance to South Africa for the future.
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By Prince Sobayeni