Birds Building Bridges In Africa
Monday May 30 2005
Moroka Swallows are currently on a mission to Africa, where they are scouting for players and also building relationships with soccer clubs on the continent.
Dube Birds coach Gavin Hunt has been in Dakar, Senegal, for the last six days and is also set to visit Namibia and Zambia, while Swallows MD Gavin Bernstein is possibly set to travel to the DRC.
Swallows boss Leon Prins explained the thinking behind the club's African mission:
"The club management took a decision that we need to spread our wings," said Prins. "Gavin Hunt will be travelling to a number of African countries where we will have the assistance of various local agents and other connections. It will be good to get our club associated to other clubs on the continent."
Prins explained that although the club remains committed to bringing South African youngsters up through the ranks, it also important for them to achieve immediate success as youth development is usually a long-term commitment.
"We want to improve on our current standings and sometimes it is hard to do this with only the pool of local players available to us," continued Prins.
"Although we still maintain our strong emphasis on youth development, especially with our junior sides doing very well, we realise the importance of being successful right now, as well as in the future."
With African-born players like George Weah, Patrick Viera, Samuel Eto'o, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Drogba and Kolo Toure proving that the continent can produce the best players in the world, Swallows' African mission may just unearth the next African superstar...