Wednesday Jul 12, 2017. 15:00
Ex-Free State Stars coach Serame Letsoaka says African clubs must focus on development to ensure they reap success in the future.
Speaking during his visit to Swaziland on behalf of FIFA as a Coaching Instructor, the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars coach has praised Swazi football.
Letsoaka praised Mbabane Swallows’ run in the CAF Confederation Cup after reaching the group stages this year.
The ex-Bafana Bafana assistant coach said Swazi clubs are showing their quality against South African sides.
Swallows handed Platinum Stars a 4-2 drubbing in Swaziland and drew the second leg 2-2 in Rustenburg.
Letsoaka, though, has emphasised development as a priority.
“Here in Africa we start to focus on development when players are 15 years while it took over 10 000 hours or 10 years to nature a player to be professional,” said Letsoaka to the Times of Swaziland.
“When you start at 15 years, that player will reach his peak at about 25 years and he won’t be effective enough in elite competition or the national team.
“If you lack the basics in anything, then you will have a challenge at top level. Players had to be at their best by the age of 18 years.”
The 54-year-old added that Swaziland is a gold mine when it comes to football talent.
“Swaziland is a gold mine for talent, it’s just that is needs to be nurtured at grass root level,” he adds.
“I observed in awe as Mbabane Swallows marketed well Swazi football in Africa with their good performance in the CAF Confederations.
“With proper foundations, the country may produce players who can play well internationally and also raise the standard of football in the country.”