Over the past few years there has been a rise of South African youngsters making moves or going through youth structures of clubs overseas.
FARPost‘s international office has been profiling and discovering some of Mzansi’s unknown teenagers making moves abroad with over 17 teenagers now identified. FARPost picks the top 10 of these rising stars.
1. THEODOR BECK (16)
The winger was born in Denmark to a South African father and Danish mother. He is currently going through the ranks of Danish Suparliga side AGF Aarhus where he has been promoted to their U-19 side after having a good 2019/20 season with the U-17.
2. SIYABONGA LIGENDZA (17)
Born in Leicester to a South African mother and German father the striker was recruited into the Cardiff City system at the age of 8 and has been going through their ranks for the past 9 years growing from strength to strength. He currently plays for the club’s U18 development squad as a winger and a striker. Ligendza has also been playing with the U-23 squad for the past two seasons – he has scored 34 goals in the past two seasons for Cardiff’s youth teams.
3. BOIPELO MASHIGO (17)
Recruited by DFB Academy from SuperSport United at the age of 13, SpVV Unterhaching winger Boipelo Mashigo has been in Germany for the past 4 years. Three seasons ago he was signed by Unterhaching from DFB Academy and has been doing well for the club including making his first team debut recently in a pre-season friendly.
4. KATLEGO MASHIGO (19)
When his parents got better work opportunities abroad the midfielder moved with them at the age of 4. He then joined one of the best boy’s schools in Dublin, Ireland – St Kevin’s Boys, where he developed until the age of 13. Later he was signed by Fleetwood Town in England whom he parted ways with last season and returned to Ireland to join Bohemians FC. He stayed one season with the Irish giants before joining second division side Drogheda last month looking for first team football.
5. BRADLEY CROSS (19)
The central defender underwent his development at the Mpumalanga Black Aces Academy before joining Absa Premiership side Bidvest Wits in January 2018. Wits loaned the left-footed sweeper to German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 for two seasons (2018-2020).
With his loan now finished the defender is currently looking for a new home, with clubs in Portugal and Netherlands said to be interested in his services. He has represented South Africa at both U-17 and U-20 youth teams.
6. KGAOGELO CHAUKE (17)
The midfielder was scouted while playing for Thatcham Town and joined the Southampton Academy in 2017. Chauke has been going through the ranks at Southampton, an academy rated amongst the best in the world having produced some of the best footballers in the game. The teenager is currently playing with the club’s U-23 side although he has been promoted to train regularly with the first team as well.
7. ANDRAS NEMETH (17)
Born in Cape Town to a South African mother and Hungarian father the 17-year-old has been at KRC Genk for years. Nemeth earned his first professional contract at the tender age of 16 in 2018. With clubs all over Europe vying for his signature Genk decided to tie the striker down with a long-term contract. Last year he played for Hungary at the U-17 European Championships and later at the U-17 FIFA World Cup. He was loaned to Belgian second tier side SK Lommel in January 2020 until the end of the 2019/20 season – he made his senior debut for Lommel and went on to play 5 league games.
8. ALWANDE ROALDSOY (16)
Having been at Drobak in Norway’s 4th division the attacking midfielder recently signed a three-year-deal with Italian Serie A side Atalanta Calcio. Roaldsoy has a South African mother and Norwegian father.
9. MAX MCMILLAN (17)
As he nears his 18th birthday in October the Leeds United striker will be happy that his efforts at Elland Road where he has been since the age of 6 are bearing fruits. McMillan is the grandson of former Pretoria Callies coach Trevor McMillan and son of Yorkshire United legend Andy McMilan, who was born in South Africa. The striker has been promoted to Leeds’s U-23 side after being the top goal scorer of the club’s U-18 side last season.
10. AKIEL RAFFIE (17)
Raffie joined English League One side Fleetwood Town three years ago and has now been training with the club’s first team as well. Raffie has a younger brother Reyaan Raffie who is playing for Manchester City’s U13 side. Both brothers want to play for Mzansi.
The midfielder was born in Australia to South African parents and in an interview with this publication he declared his love for South Africa stating that he is working hard to be called up for the youth sides.
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By Prince Sobayeni