An exciting initiative in South Africa will give one youngster the chance to take his training to the next level.
Coaches from newly-crowned English Premier League champions Chelsea will conduct trials in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Durban in a bid to unearth the next Lucas Radebe or Benni McCarthy.
The initiative is a collaboration between Chelsea and Shield, one of the country’s leading deodorant brands.
The trials, which will run until 30 September, will also be aired on national television.
The winner will get the chance to train with Chelsea at their Cobham base in London.
Ian Woodroffe, international development manager of the Chelsea FC Foundation, said he was excited about the prospect of discovering a future South African star.
“We know the country holds many players with a huge passion for football. This competition gives them the chance to demonstrate their passion and ability.
“The Chelsea Foundation works hard to improve the lives of young people all over the world and we look forward to extending our work in South Africa‚” said Woodroffe.
The programme is open to all South Africans‚ male and female, aged 18 years and older.
Sponsors’ representative Keegan Alicks said the initiative was designed to inspire ordinary people to chase the dream of champions and would run for three years.
He said: “This will give everyday people an opportunity to train with the best and move in the direction of becoming a champion.
“This is to afford aspiring professional footballers a real-life feel of what it takes to make it at the top of the club football pyramid, including hard work, practice and absolute dedication – both on and off the field.”
Local coaches will help choose the winner in conjunction with the Chelsea coaches and a club legend who will also come out to South Africa.