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The second annual FNB Lucas Radebe Football Festival wrapped up in Soweto yesterday. The event took place from 1-3 October at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus and was the culmination of 9 months of development clinics and training sessions being presented through the FNB Football First Programme.
The girls' final was contested between the teams of Kimberley and Pietermaritzburg. Pietermaritzburg had a 1-0 lead for most of the match until Kimberley equalised in the dying minutes to force a penalty shoot-out which Pietermaritzburg won by 3 goals to 1. Thohoyandou and Mthatha met in the final of the boys' division with Mthatha being crowned champions following a 2-0 victory.
In 2011 it became clear that the tournament was an ideal scouting ground for some of the country's most influential academy and national junior squad scouts. This year was no different. Ricardo Katza from the SuperSport Academy confirmed that between eight and ten players from this tournament will be invited to attend a weeklong training camp at the academy in December 2012, after which final selections would be made for 2013. Successful players are housed and schooled at the Rosina Sports School in Laudium.
Says Katza:"I have been impressed with the standard of football played over the last three days. The FNB Football First Programme and the coaches deployed in the regions are definitely making a very valuable contribution to football in this country."
Lucas Radebe, tournament patron and ambassador to the FNB Football First Programme agrees that these types of development programmes need to be duplicated and rolled out in more regions across the country:"Now in its second year the FNB Football First Programme and the FNB Lucas Radebe Football Festival have proven that it can produce quality players for further development through the academy system or even our junior national squads."
"Programmes like these are long term commitments, but within the next five years we would expect to see some of these players emerging via the senior leagues and national structures," adds Radebe.
"This has been an extremely rewarding project for FNB in terms of the measurable impact it has had on the communities where the FNB Artificial Pitches are situated as well as the number of success stories related to players and coaches that have risen to the next level in their football careers as a direct result of the FNB Football First Programme," says Bernice Samuels, FNB Chief Marketing Officer.
We remain committed to the development of the youth through sport and we believe that sport is one of the most effective holistic development tools for the youth, teaching values such as discipline, respect, commitment and teamwork," concludes Samuels.
FINAL RESULTS â€“ FNB LUCAS RADEBE FOOTBALL FESTIVAL 2012
Golden Boot Award - Chantel Oliphant (Kimberley)
Keeper of the Tournament - Naledi Bantobetse (Kimberley)
Player of the Tournament - Ayanda Shelembe (Pietermaritzburg)
Best Goal Award - Ntandokazi Siyikile (Mthatha)
Golden Boot Award - Banele Ntsondwa (Mthatha)
Keeper of the Tournament - Athi Maqhushu (George)
Player of the Tournament - Ntando Majeke (Mthatha)
Best Goal Award - Vuyolwethu Vellem (George)
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