Vodacom NXT LVL Putting Footballers Through School

Having played various sports as a child and teenager, as well as watching my nine-year old explore different sports, including rugby and football, I sincerely believe that participating in sports can have immense benefits for a child growing up. At my son’s football sessions, the coaches are fair but don’t allow for messing around. They expect discipline, the desire to work hard, the understanding that it is about team work and having fun. I have seen introverted and/or shy children, including my boy, come into their own on the training field and, in talking to other parents, we see it carry...

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Youth Development hits the NXT LVL

Lionel Messi started playing in his hometown team Club Atletico Newell’s Old Boys youth system at the age of 8. At 13, he moved, with his entire family to Spain where he trained and played at La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy. Steven Gerrard joined Liverpool’s academy at 9. Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Sporting Club of Lisbon at 12. Andrea Pirlo made his Serie A debut for Brescia at the age of 16. Paul Pogba started playing for a club near his hometown in France at the age of 6, spending 7 seasons there. As with most sports, youth development in football is something that needs to take...

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Kaizer Chiefs @ 40

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved football. Growing up in Lesotho, my father would take me to the occasional games. He bought our first television when I was 11 but they didn’t always show the games that I wanted to watch. I am not that old, but I spent many an afternoon or evening hunched up next to a radio listening to the games. The teams I support have been influenced by my father, in some instances. These teams, in leagues across the world, have brought me much pain and joy and probably will do so for many years to come. I have always been a Kaizer Chiefs fan and some of my...

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