FORMER Transnet Football School of Excellence coach Sam Mbatha believes the Gauteng Future Champions tournament is a perfect platform to expose local youngsters to international soccer.
Mbatha said more development tournaments of this calibre were needed for South Africans to know their strengths and weaknesses.
Mbatha, who is now working for Absa Premiership side Platinum Stars in their development programme, applauded the Gauteng provincial government for financing the tournament.
“It’s such a great honour to see top clubs from Brazil, Russia and Chile coming to play against some of our youngsters in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
“When I was still the School of Excellence’s coach, we used to feature in a series of local and international competitions. Big names like Steven Pienaar, Brett Evans, Masilo Modubi and Bernard Parker were part of the set-up at the school.
“Those tournaments helped expose them to international competition. We will do well as a country if more of our clubs participate in such competitions.”
The Premier Soccer League has commended the Gauteng department of sport, arts, culture and recreation for assisting in the development of the game through the tournament that ended at the weekend.
“We appreciate the role played by our government in getting involved in community development projects,” said PSL chief operations officer Ronnie Schloss.