Nike today announced the five young, upcoming footballers who have succeeded in securing a spot at the global final trials in the Nike Chance tournament - Samy Loukab from Algeria, Lamine Diop from Senegal, and South Africans Moses Katayi, Kurt Pienaar and Waylan Rooi.
These aspiring footballers were part of the 30 finalists scouted from the first-ever Nike Chance Africa trials hosted in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Algeria and Senegal. The five finalists were selected from over 1,000 hopefuls that attended trials at the Nike Chance Africa football talent search during December and January. The unique global talent search is fast becoming the platform to unearth phenomenal footballers who are unassigned and fast-tracking them into professional structures.
Head coach Shawn Bishop, who is Mamelodi Sundown’s head of youth development and technical director of coaching, was supported during the trials by renowned football coaches and specialists including Shaun Bartlett, Arthur Zwane, Wendell Robinson and Elsa Storm.
Final deliberations concluded an intense two-day trial hosted at the inspirational Nike Football Training Centre Soweto this weekend where international ex-footballer Benni McCarthy also provided support to the coaching team in selecting the winners. The core team monitored the overall discipline and determination of the players. Other factors that were closely assessed were speed, agility, endurance and tactful play during drills and small sided games.
“The Nike Chance has been an amazing initiative to be a part of. The boys have shown a tremendous amount of talent this weekend. We are proud of every one of them but the top five selected really demonstrated phenomenal football skill. We wish them everything of the best in the final round,” says head coach, Shawn Bishop.
Commenting on his achievement, Waylan Rooi from Johannesburg, South Africa said, “We’ve followed guys like David Titi Accam and Reyaad Pieterse and seen how the Nike Chance has given them the platform needed to realise their football dreams. I gave it my all in these trials and now that I’ve been one of the five chosen, it brings a feeling that I cannot describe. I’m just so happy. I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead but I’m ready to give of my best.”
“The Nike Chance tournament has been immensely successful and represents Nike’s on-going commitment to the development of African football from grassroots level. It is through initiatives like the Nike Chance and the world class Nike Football Training Centre Soweto, that we are able to help nurture talent and shape football stars of the future,” says Seruscka Naidoo, Communications Manager of Nike South Africa.
The five young footballers now eagerly await their trip to the Nike Academy at St. George’s Park in the United Kingdom, where up to 60 international finalists will attend the Global Showcase in the hope of earning the 1-in-5 spot in the UK-based Nike Academy. Being a part of the Nike Academy enables these aspiring footballers the opportunity to compete against the top UK academy teams, where scouts and agents are always on site at matches, in search for talented footballers.