Posted on September 22, 2010 22:07
AmaZulu and Elangeni FET College in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal are in an interesting relationship which aims at buidling a Football Academy to nurture the abandant talent in our area.
"FET is obviously concerned about sport, fitness and health," AmaZulu general manager Peter O'Connor says. "But they had absolutely no idea how to run the soccer side of it, so they approached us to help. And we agreed to assist with overseeing the coaching staff.
The UK Connection
The relationship, which is a work in progress, also involves Filton College and Bristol Rovers in England.
Filton, one of the fastest-growing colleges in the southwest of England, developed the Bristol Academy of Sport in response to various demands from students wanting to study and play sport at the same time. Now Elangeni are set to follow suit with the establishment of a new soccer academy.
"I've visited Filton College and Bristol Rovers to see how we could utilise some of their services", AmaZulu general manager Peter O'Connor said. "What we don't want to do is re-invent the wheel, but rather replicate some of their successful working models.
"I admire the Ajax Cape Town set-up and their link to Ajax Amsterdam; we are talking to the guys in England about something along those lines.
Rovers Director Geoff Dunford received O'Connor with open arms when he made the visit to the South England club.
Topics discussed during the visit were varied, and included the mutual benefits for both club and college plus possible avenues of funding for the sport academies.
Dunford said "We have agreed to assist this legendary club in anyway we can, to improve their internal structure and presence in Durban. It may be possible to arrange exchange programmes for coaching, administrative staff and even for players if international regulations permit.
"We also plan to feature articles in our match programme giving regular updates of AmaZulu's progress this season as well as information on any type of assistance we may have provided to them"
Sharing best practice
FET College headmaster Maxwell Mbili is equally excited about this relationship."Our link with AmaZulu is very good for KZN soccer," Mbili says.
"We have six delivery sites or campuses and our youngsters will soon start benefiting from 'Usuthu'.
"Filton has a partnership with us and Bristol Rovers. They asked us to get a team so, at the end of the day, we'll have Rovers sharing best practices with AmaZulu, and Elangeni working hand-in-hand with Filton.
"You never know, soon some of our boys may be playing for AmaZulu. That's my club now, although I used to support Kaizer Chiefs."