AmaZulu honoured the year’s top achievers in the youth ranks in fine fashion at Umhlanga’s Kashmir Restaurant on 9 December.
Despite 2015 being a year of much turbulence and testing to many who hold the KZN club dear to heart, youth development remains just as high on the agenda.
Dignitaries like SAFA Ethekwini President Mazwi Mkhize, AmaZulu’s General Manager Lunga Sokhela and Head Coach Steve Barker were present to witness the proceedings which had a strong sense of hope for AmaZulu and KZN youth football.
The club’s Head of Development, Steve Bezuidenhout, extended a warm message of thanks to the players and the parents who’ve provided a much needed pillar of strength in the functioning of Usuthu’s youth structures.
“I hope our relationship as parents and coaches grows also outside the context of your son and us being coaches and you the parents, but getting to know each other a little better. Many of the players have a great future and I’m certain that they will be in the next two or three years playing for AmaZulu Football Club,” said Bezuidenhout.
In his speech Bezuidenhout also thanked youth coaches Dennis Ngubo (U13), Xolani Mbatha (U15) and Samkelo Ngubane (U17) and the Glenwood High School Elite Program Coordinators who’ve had a sterling contribution into the success of AmaZulu Development structure.
“Part of our priorities next year is on the youth and part of that is to make sure that we promote some of the players in this group to ensure that AmaZulu is well represented in the country.”
“One of the things that we’ll want to do next year is to have an induction so that players can understand what it means to wear the badge of AmaZulu,” said AmaZulu General Manager, Lunga Sokhela.
He also thanked sponsors Build It, Spar, Defy, SAFA, Rainbow Chicken, and the Department of Sport & Recreation. Many of the youngsters’ highlights include the winning of silverware for the U13s, U15 and U17s throughout a trying 2015 season.
Worth much confetti has been the drafting of Graeme Pratt, Neil Borshoff and Dylan Stoffels into the first team squad while the latter flew the Usuthu flag in the U17 World Cup in Chile.
Wentworth-born striker Stoffels was the biggest winner in his group at the function, bagging the Finishing Phase Player of the Year trophy. Luyanda Gumede and Tiron Sewnarian were also part of the U17 national team before the final squad was announced in October.
A few players from the Finishing Phase have been slotted into ABC Motsepe League campaigning clubs to afford them smooth final metamorphosis with hope to eventually break into Steve Barker’s first team squad.
The Full List of Winners:
U13 Player of the Year: Theo Nzama
U13 GDD 2015: Marvin James
U15 Player of the Year: Siboniso Ndelu
U15 GDD 2015: Khehla Khathi
Academy Phase GDD 2015: Sandile Makhonza
Academy Phase Player of the Season: Tirone Sewnarain
Finishing Phase GDD Player of the Season: Graeme Pratt
Finishing Phase Player of the Season: Dylan Stoffels
Youth Goalscorer of the Season: Luthando Qwabe
Certificate of Recogcnition:
KZN Represantation: Josh Concalves, Luthando Qwabe, Thulani Ngcwabani, Riyaad Rajah, Adam Bruin, Marco Phytides, Kyle Swain, Cole Colbert, Dylan Ruiters.
Durban District Representation: Tristan Lambert, Rahul Singh, Minenhle Cebekhulu, Dylan Hodnett.
SA Representation: Luyanda Gumede, Tirone Sewnarain, Dylan Stoffels.
Top Student Marco Phytides
Most Improved Student Marco Phytides
Top Student Tauriq Badat
Most Improved Student Sduduzo Nxumalo
Top Student Alexio Phytides
Most Improved Student Josh Concalves