The aim of AmaZulu Youth Development is to produce talented young footballers who will showcase their football skills at professional club level and at national team level.
The club has a number of qualified coaches with an eye for spotting exceptional talent.
The coaches have an idea of the desired academic background needed to strike a balance between behavioural and sporting prowess in order to groom and develop players.
The AmaZulu Youth Development department was established in the 1980’s. It was not as finely structured as it is run nowadays.
Players such as the legendary Joe Faya and Mdu Nxele, one of the best midfielders to have been produced by AmaZulu, were identified from this development structure.
The purpose is still the same as it was back in the early days: producing remarkable players that will graduate to the senior squad. Another purpose in Usuthu’s development is to try and produce players that will go on to perform at professional level not exclusively for AmaZulu but for other clubs as well.
Our qualified coaches are encouraged to give these young players an opportunity to show off their skills. The desired objective is to have a coach that puts his personal ambitions aside and focuses solely on developing players.
In terms of talent identification, players are identified through playing other teams as opponents in mini tournaments all around the KZN province. Players identified outside the greater part of Durban and surrounding areas are not left out i.e. in Margate we have Mr M. Benjamin (South Coast) and in Tugela there is Vincent Sokhela.
The club contributes to community projects such as the Spar and Build It tournaments to identify further talent. Official trials are also hosted on a yearly basis by the club.
Durban Warriors is a separately-run team which works closely with AmaZulu, effectively becoming a feeder for the first team. Warriors campaign in the Vodacom League and have produce players for the first team, and the latest prospects to have been signed are goalkeeper Nhlanhla Khuzwayo, midfielder Muziwandile Kwela and leftback Mxolisi Mayonga.
Players between19-22 are accepted by Durban Warriors, provided they have completed matric. Accommodation is provided to these players. However, for a player who is under the age of 19, a file is opened for him where it is ensured that the player is registered with the club, however a team in his area of study can still look after him.
This relationship ensures that both teams work together in monitoring the players’ progress.
The main objective is to give players from Kwa Zulu Natal a chance to grow and expand their potential. Recently, five players have been identified and offered junior contracts and some of them have been loaned to other clubs.
Head coaches’ responsibilities also include finding ways of encouraging regular interface between parents and the development staff. This is done in the form of formal meetings or via telephone meetings.
All AmaZulu junior teams play in the Durban Central Football Association League which is under seen by SAFA.
Head of Development: Ronnie Moroka (pictured left)
U13s are coached by former AmaZulu player Sazi Ngubane who won the Coca Cola Cup in 1992 under Clive Barker.
The U15s are mentored by Justice Mtshali who in his playing days played for African Wanderers but has payed his dues as a junior coach.
Lindani Dito Mkhize is the head coach of the U17s.
Thulani Hlatshwayo is the head coach for AmaZulu’s sister team Durban Warriors that campaign in SAFA’s Vodacom League. He works hand in hand with their team manager Thulani Cele.
(Pictured) From Left: Thulani Hlatshwayo and Thulani Cele
AmaZulu development teams are all based at the Moses Mabhida Stadium Outer Fields near the Kings Park Swimming Pools.
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