A new dawn awaits for Nedbank Ke Yona hopefuls

A new dawn awaits for the 2018 Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search hopefuls. The remaining 23 players will take part in a final Training Camp from the 3rd to the 9th of August at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria. Following the Training Camp will be the Team Announcement on the 8th of August that will take place at the Nedbank Headquarters in Johannesburg. The final squad of 16 players that will take on Free State Stars in September for the Ke Yona Challenge will be announced.

For the selected 16 players, the experience will be further enhanced as they have a once in a lifetime opportunity to trial with a Premier Soccer League team, an opportunity that was afforded to the likes of Bloemfontein Celtic left-back Bongani Sam.

As Money Experts Who Do Good, Nedbank is continuously on the lookout for new ways to engage fans through their passion for sport especially football and this season is no different - this year the public will get an opportunity to draft their favourite Ke Yona star into a PSL club of their choice on their cell phones. To watch the promising talent on display, the public are urged to tune into SABC 1 every Sunday at 14h30, where they will get an insiders look into the acclaimed talent search.

The life-changing prospect of being part of the Ke Yona squad is what has the remaining players beaming with enthusiasm and hope, the same hope that 20-year old Bongani Sam experienced this time last year. Following his selection into the Ke Yona squad, the lanky left-back was drafted into Bloemfontein Celtic for a month-long spell where he scored a first-team contract with Phunya Sele-Sele. For the remainder of the 2017/18 season, he was sent on loan to PSL promoted side – Highlands Park. The Motherwell born star, made his debut for the team in December 2017 and went on to perform well under Owen Da Gama.

Sam was recalled back to Bloemfontein Celtic and it is presumed that he will fit well in Steve Komphela’s set-up as the team has battled for left footed players, following the departures of Cheslyn Jampies and Sibusiso Mxoyana last season.

The Ke Yona left-back has his work set out for him as he will compete with Zimbabwean international, Ronald Pfumbidzai for a place in the starting eleven. A challenge which he has welcomed with open arms. “I am excited to be at Bloemfontein Celtic with Coach Steve, having coached the national junior teams, I know that he likes to work with youngsters. I am hopeful that I will get a chance to play.” said Sam “I competed with thousands of talented players to qualify for the Nedbank Ke Yona Team. I was then trained by the country’s top coaches and went on to be part of the unbeaten Highlands Park team, so I am more than capable of fighting for a spot in the team.” he continued “with the lessons learned through the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search, I am well prepared and confident that I can reach my full potential as a player.” He concluded.

“We look forward to Bongani Sam’s growth as he has transitioned from pure talent to a professional player through the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search. Like Sam, the current crop of players will get lessons which set to prepare them for life as professional footballers. This includes on and off the pitch educational sessions by the likes of football legend Mark Williams and sound expert advice on financial fitness from prominent financial advisors. We are committed to using our financial expertise to do good for all and as savings month comes to an end we encourage South Africa to continue saving and investing in their futures” said Nedbank Sponsorship Manager: Football Properties, Tutu Skhosana.

Football enthusiasts can follow the journey of the players on the Nedbank Ke Yona App and further engage in conversations on Social Media using the hashtag #KeYona via Twitter (@Nedbanksport), Facebook (Nedbank Sport) and Instagram (@Nedbank).