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SWALLOWS NEWS
Youth development teams 06/10/04
The Moroka Swallows Youth Development commenced in 2003, however, 2004 saw the advent of a viable Academy to develop our youth who have shown tremendous potential in the game of football.

A more serious attitude was adopted over the 2004 season. Like all fresh developments, much research and commitment was put into action. The foundation of the development was crucial to it's success and a tremendous amount of hard work was generated to give the development the boost it required.

The four teams, starting with the Under 13's and ending with the Under 19's, need much in terms of selecting the right Coaches and Managers to undertake the task. Focus on Level One Certificates and encouraging Curricula Vitae (CV's) were the cornerstones of selecting the right people to fit their posts. Basic knowledge and some history pertaining to the persona selected to take on such a stringent responsibilities were also taken into consideration when Coach and Management selections were eventually made.

The process of trials prior to the commencement of the season were also undertaken and strategic selections were made before finalising the teams that would represent the Moroka Swallows Youth Academy in all the age groups. Thousands of players enrolled for trials and many came from other provinces, to go through the selection process. This process was staged over several weeks and the numbers were cute every week until the final sections were made.

One of the great areas of concern is that our Coaches and Managers have been requested to "police" the over-age syndrome that is a major national problem in South Africa. Credentials are thoroughly checked and rechecked to ensure that the player is of the correct age in the said team. This clean up process is detrimental to our policy. Players are severely warned about contravening the rules and we are constantly investigating any suspect players to keep the game "clean".

Taking all matters into account we have for your pleasure and information, the performance of the following development teams:

Under 13's
This team had a very successful season. They won all the fourteen League Games that they played, thereby ending the season with an unbeaten record. The "tale of the tape" reflects the following interesting statistics:

Games played  - 14 
Games won  - 14 (100% success)
Games drawn  - 0
games lost  - 0
League goals scored - 65
League goals conceded - 9

During the season, the team were privileged to enjoy and succeed in the following events that were the highlights of their team campaign:

1. They also won the Eastern's Provincial Cup, on 19 September 2004, against Elsburg Football Club, thus bringing home the double "gold".

2. Fifteen players (15) out of the twenty registered players made their Gauteng East Central District Junior Football Association colours.
Twelve (12) players were selected for the Gauteng East "A" side and three (3) players were selected to play for the Eat Rand District "B" side. The Gauteng East Side were runners up at the tournament held over the period 28 and 29 August 2004. Silver medals were awarded to the runners up.

3. The Mafeking Tournament was represented by tow Moroka Swallows sides. They finished second and third in the tournament. Please refer to the Internet story, which was self explanatory.

4. Some PSL Academy's have made offers for some of our players during the year.

5. Our Goal Keeper - Sherwyn Naiker has made it to the final 20 for the National Under 14 Team. We have not heard from SAFA about the final status of this player.

6. We have promoted sixteen (16) players form this age group to play in the Under 15 side during 2005. All these players were born in the year 1991, and will be campaigning in this age League over the next two years. Five (5) of the players that did not get promoted will be playing in an Under 14 side for Germiston City Football Club (our sister club) during the 2005 season.

The only sad result of the season was that our team could not raise sufficient funds to go to the Liverpool Knowlsley International Tournament which was scheduled for July/August 2004. Fortunately, the monies that were raised at the Golf Day was used for the Mafekeng Tournament that was held over the period 11 to 13 June 2004. The money was used to pay for accommodation, transport, etc.

Under 15's
This team also had a very successful season. They won their League by a margin of six points. The "tale of the tape" reflects the following interesting statistics:

Games played  - 14 
Games won  - 13
Games drawn  - 1
games lost  - 0
League goals scored - 54
League goals conceded - 11

Unfortunately, this team were knocked out the Cup during their Semi-final game.

We have promoted eleven (11) players from this age group to play in the Under 17 side during 2005. Nine (9) of these players, that did not make the grade, will be playing in an Under 17 side, for Germiston City Football Club during the 2005 season. We will, however, keep a watch on these nine (9) players during the forthcoming season, to identify any further levels of improvement for the future reintroduction back to Moroka Swallows.

The Under 1 5's participated in the Ubungani International Soccer Tournament at Bedfordview County Club. They did well and finished third overall.

They also participated in the Supersport Youth Tournament and finished fourth.

This team performed well and much is expected from them in the future. We have some special players in this team who will make the grades in the future.

Under 17's
This team also had a very successful season. They won their League by a margin of six points. The "tale of the tape" reflects the following interesting statistics:

Games played  - 14 
Games won  - 13
Games drawn  - 1
games lost  - 0
League goals scored - 78
League goals conceded - 9

They won the Provincial Cup on 19 September 2004.

Eleven (11) players from this team made the Gauteng East Central District Junior Football Association, colours. Eight (8) players were selected for the Gauteng East "A" side and three (3) players were selected to play for East Rand District "B" side.

Moroka Swallows hosted the Under 17 Tournament which was held at Germiston Football Club. Please refer to internet for more details.

We have promoted seven (7) players from this age group to play in the Under 19 side during 2005. All the other players, that did not make the grade, will be playing in an Under 19 side, for Germiston City Football Club, during the 2005 season. We will, however, keep a watch on these players during the forthcoming season, to identify any further levels of improvement for future reintroduction back to Moroka Swallows.

Under 19's
This team came third in their League. This was a very strong League and much was learnt by the team against such stringent competition. The League was won by Kaizer Chiefs. School of Excellence came second.The "tale of the tape" reflects the following interesting statistics:

Games played  - 18 
Games won  - 10
Games drawn  - 4
games lost  - 4
League goals scored - 40
League goals conceded - 25

Three (3) players were selected to play for the Gauteng East Provincial side.

Four (4) players were promoted to the First Team, in the new season, at the request of Gavin Hunt.

This team also attended the Bay Hill Tournament in Cape Town, the biggest Under 19 Tournament in Africa, where some of the best teams are represented, and where players are usually sought for the national Under 20 team. Two of our players (both Goal Keepers) have been invited to attend the National camp. Please refer to the internet for more details. The team qualified to the quarter finals and were beaten 1-0 by Ajax Cape Town.

Kevin Moral received his first "Cap" for the "Amajita" (National Under 20 team) and performed brilliantly against Botswana.

General
We are currently housing twenty one (21) players from the other provinces. We have adopted a typical Academy policy by providing these players with accommodation, living, transportation and most importantly, schooling. We do, however, need to keep abreast of the rising cost of living and transport factors and the budgets should be reviewed every six months, to ensure that the in-house players are suitably cared for.

Conclusion
The above results are encouraging which shows that Moroka Swallows are definitely moving in the right direction, with their Youth Development Programme.

As with all new projects there are many learning curves and sometimes we are faced with meeting our objectives through trial and error. It is, however, through our mistakes that our biggest lessons are learnt.

What is the biggest problem in such a venture is that these matters require tremendous financial backing and assistance. With suitable sponsorship and budgets, we will be in a position to create a bigger and better approach to creating a stronger platform and become more professional in what we strive to achieve. The old addage "money talks" is a serious requirement in making such a venture as  developing our futures soccer stars a reality.

Paul Habib - Head Coach - Youth Development

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