Two 17-year-old football proteges from the youth development football structure of East London Central Local Football Association Centre of Excellence FC, Lakhan Gqango and Ukhonaye Magele, have been signed by DStv Premiership club TS Galaxy.
Gqango scooped two individual awards at the 2023 ELCLFA end-of-year prize-giving and was voted the 2023 ELCLFA U16 footballer of the year and ELCLFA youth player of the year.
Centre of Excellence head coach, Simelane Kulakade, who was an instrumental figure in mentoring Gqango and Magele during their stint with his club, was elated and confident that they would succeed in the top tier of the SA game.
ELCLFA youth chair Vuyo Zambodla praised the work done by the Centre of Excellence management team in securing professional football career opportunities for young players.
He also commended ELCLFA and Buffalo Flats-based youth club Atletico, which also had two of their youth players signed up by professional clubs this year.
Last year’s ELCLFA U16 footballer of the year Leeyogen Saville, who joined Carlos Academy last year, signed with SuperSport United, while 15-year-old Taachaye Hendricks has joined the English Football Club Fleetwood Town’s international academy in Cape Town.
Zambodla also highlighted two other ELCLFA teenage footballers who are doing well, Kyle Troskie (Star of India) and Nkcubekho Nondaka (Central United), who are currently enjoying their second year with the Tshwane-based Transnet School of Excellence.