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Zondo on a mission 16/08/04
Just before the new Castle Premiership season started, a lot has been written about players joining the big spending Mamelodi Sundowns but that was only a tip of the iceberg, according to development coach Khabo Zondo.

SASoccer365's Francis Makoni chatted to Zondo about the vision he has for the club.

"In as much as the main team have been looking for the best players and signing them, I have been looking for the best Under-18 players for the Sundowns academy from around the country,"said the former Golden Arrows head coach.

Zondo joined Sundowns last season from Arrows and was tipped to take over as the head coach of the Pretoria-based team but the job went to Paul Dolezar.

After Dolezar was appointed, most people were questioning the wisdom of Zondo to leave his former job and end up not even as an assistant coach.

"The president of the club, Patrice Motsepe, told me what he wanted me to do at the club, to estabilish the youth academy and right now I have been travelling around the country looking for the players that will be housed at the academy which will be based in Pretoria," added the coach who has been tipped to take over the South Africa Under-23 team.

Zondo said that he has already issued out his programmes to his juniors and by next year all the players will be housed in Pretoria.

"All the players will be Under-18 and I will be travelling to the rest of Africa to look for the final players.

"This is in line with Mr Motsepe, who wants Sundowns to be the best in Africa and all the young players from the continent will have a chance to be part and parcel of Sundowns," he said.

The land where the academy is to be housed has already been identified, as has the schools that the young players will finish their education at.

"I am not working in isolation from Paul Dolezar, Dolezar communicates with me about where I should focus the development of the players.

"Like, if he thinks that the club does not have any good strikers in it's youth ranks, I will go out there and look for the players that I think will add depth to that area in a couple of seasons in the junior ranks," said Zondo.

Zondo assured all the provinces that he has not visited that he will definitely pay them a visit.

"There are some provinces that I will be visiting in the near future to have a look at the promising soccer stars, after having finished signing all the junior players that the club wants in South Africa, that is when I will go outside our borders," promised Zondo.

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