from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – ABSA Premiership rookies, Stellenbosch FC, are envisaging a bright future for the youngsters promoted to play in the first team for the remainder of the season.
The side from the Cape Winelands has given Jayden Adams (18), Kgomotso “KG” Chiwayo (21), Jamie Craak (21) and goalkeeper Lebohang Nthene (18) their big break ahead of the resumption of the campaign in the Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) in Gauteng.
“I think it’s a big opportunity for the four of them,” said Jason Rhoda, assistant coach of the Stellies’ Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC), from where the players have been promoted.
He offered CAJ News Africa an insight into the players who would be hoping for an opportunity when 11th-placed Stellenbosch resume their campaign against Golden Arrows on Saturday afternoon at the Tuks Stadium.
The standout player is attacking midfielder, Adams, who earlier this month signed a long-term professional contract with the club.
This capped of a fine season in which he was the star player for the MDC team before the Reserve League was cancelled in March because of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent lockdown.
“Jayden was our star man and definitely our Player of the Season,” Rhoda said of the attacking midfielder.
He also sung praises of another 18-year-old, the goalkeeper Nthene.
The teenager will provide backup to first choice Lee Langeveldt and Keegan Pool.
“Lebo played a couple of games for us but has been training regularly with the first team. He has also been a member of the national Under-17 side. He has a big future ahead of him,” Rhoda said.
Another player projected for dizzy heights is Chiwayo, who made an immediate impression after joining the reserve side from AmaTuks.
“KG joined us very late, managed a couple of games but has been plagued by injury,” Rhoda said.
“However, in the games he featured in, particularly against Pirates in his first match, one could tell he was a cut above the rest. If he can manage to sort his injury issues, which are currently behind him… he is fit, strong, now in the setup and coaches like him.”
Chiwayo is adept at right centreback or as out-and-out rightback.
Craak is another versatile prospect.
“He played more in central midfield and sometimes on the side and eventually finished as a left winger. He is utilised as a leftback in the first team setup,” Rhoda said of Craak.
“All in all, it’s four good players that we are sending to the first team. It’s now up to them to make a name for themselves. While Jayden has secured a contract, others still need to push to get contracts with the first team. We hope they get the opportunity and kick on from there.”
Coach Steve Barker’s Stellies have a challenging run-in.
After the Arrows encounter, they are fixtured against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs and third-placed Orlando Pirates.
They also face relegation haunted AmaZulu and Chippa United.
– CAJ News