Ke Yona Team search graduate hopes for Platinum future

Thamsanqa Gwabeni © Backpagepix

Thamsanqa Gwabeni will be hoping to elevate his top-flight career as a new Premier Soccer League season dawns for him at Platinum Stars.

The bold defender, was a graduate of the Nedbank Ke Yona Team in 2015, played alongside fellow professional Ian Chikohwa and seems determined to shine on at Stars under new coach Peter Butler.

Gwabeni made his debut for Stars against Chippa United in April 2016 and has been earmarked as a future star. His former coach and mentor, Cavin Johnson describes him as a very promising player and admires his dedication to his craft.

The Motherwell-born marksman has made 10 appearances in his two seasons at Stars, and the 23-year-old will now focus on becoming more of a regular in South Africa’s elite league. His hopes have been boosted by a solid pre-season in which he played in the Maize Cup for Platinum Stars. Further to his cap, Gwabeni was part of the squad which travelled to various parts of the African continent in their efforts to claim the CAF Confederations Cup.

“The entire Nedbank Ke Yona Team experience was life-changing; being mentored by top coaches like Shakes Mashaba and Mike Mangena was my highlight. The coaches have a wealth of experience and they have groomed the biggest talent to come out of Mzansi. We were also fortunate enough to have the coaches narrate their personal stories and experiences as professional players, which honestly inspired me to pursue greatness.” Gwabeni said.

At the recent 2017 Ke Yona Team Announcement event, amongst the 18 players selected, Motherwell produced another future star in the 20 year old Bongani Sam. Bongani will be training with Bloemfontein Celtic over a month long period. Hopefully, he will follow the footsteps of Gwabeni by claiming a place in the team.

The Ke Yona Team search is a life changing initiative that has created an immense amount of excitement amongst the selected players, heightened by being drafted into the PSL teams.

Being drafted into the teams will provide young hopefuls with a once in a lifetime opportunity of being trained by the country’s top coaches in the Premier Soccer League.

The final showdown between the Ke Yona Team and the 2017 Nedbank Cup Champions, SuperSport United is scheduled for the 3rd of September 2017 in Johannesburg. Venue and ticket information will be communicated in due course.

Football enthusiast can follow the Ke Yona team’s journey through South Africa’s first footballing app – the Nedbank Ke Yona App. Furthermore, they can also join the conversation on social media via Twitter (@Nedbanksport), Facebook (Nedbank Sport) and Instagram (@Nedbank).