Richards Bay FC boss calls for revival of school sports to feed top-flight football

Richards Bay FC boss calls for revival of school sports to feed top-flight football

Richards Bay FC Chairman Jomo Biyela says school sports has played a crucial role as a talent feeder for professional teams.

As a result, the KZN club has made it mandatory to give unknown players the opportunity to display their talents in top-flight football.

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Last season, the Natal Rich Boys introduced striker Yanela Mbuthuma to the DSTV Premiership, and has been doing well since.

In the current campaign, they have introduced couple of youngsters, such as Philasande Manqele, who made a huge impact in the Carling Knockout cup, and last  weekend they introduced Thulani Gumede – who scored a brace in the Nedbank Cup clash against Polokwane City. 

Chairman Jomo Biyela told SABC Sport about the importance of nurturing young talent.

''I like the experience our coach has when it comes to dealing with youngsters, he knows how to nurture talent. I like that he understands them and they also understand him and that makes us happy, to know that they are willing to work,'' said Biyela.

Biyela has a great history in football development and for giving youngsters opportunities in professional settings.

Following the Bafana Bafana success in the AFCON2023, there’s been a lot of debate around the succession plan. 

Biyela strongly believes the revival of football will only be a success if the focus returns to school sports.

''I still maintain that school sport played a major role in feeding professional teams, and we saw that happening over the years, and that is something we can not undermine,'' added Biyela.

Biyela, who is a former deputy president for school sports development project. Has shared more details on the role of school sport, which produced the likes of Derrick Spencer, Siyabonga Nomvethe, and many other athletes.

He feels going back to basics can revive football in the country.

''I can tell you because I've been involved in school sports for the longest time, I was the president for school sports. 

''This is where the likes of Derrick Spencer, Siyabonga Nomvethe and many other top players were discovered. This system has been tried and tested, we have to go back to basics to fast track football development,'' he concluded.

There have been concerns around the lack of sponsorship for football development, with the private sector only focusing on rugby and cricket development.

Biyela says the cause of all of that is because of not having proper structures in football development projects.