Newly crowned English Premier League champions Chelsea Football club have launched a once in a lifetime opportunity for aspiring South African footballers writes Bareng-Batho Kortjaas.
The partnership in collaboration with Shield‚ offers South Africans a chance to participate in countrywide trials to be conducted by the Chelsea coaching staff.
The ultimate prize for the competition which starts today (Monday) and ends on September 31 will be training with the Blues at their Cobham base.
The training trials will be spread across five regions: Cape Town‚ Bloemfontein‚ Durban‚ Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
One hundred hopefuls will be drawn from each region and 10 episodes of the trials will be flighted on the SABC soccer review show Soccerzone.
International development manager for Chelsea FC Foundation Ian Woodroffe expressed excitement about the prospect of finding South Africa’s best aspiring soccer star through the programme.
“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 with in South Africa‚” said Woodroffe.
The programme is open to all South Africans‚ male and female who are 18 and older.
Keegan Alicks‚ marketing manager Unilever South Africa said the initiative‚ which will run for three years‚ was designed to inspire everyday people to chase the dream of champions.
“This will give everyday people an opportunity to train with the best and move in the direction of becoming a champion.”