The Free State International Football Programme (FSIFP) has demonstrated that an education and specialised training based approach to development is possible.
The programme, which gives South African youths the opportunity to train and learn overseas, is paying dividends.
Originally launched by the likes of Bolton Wanderers in England, Dutch side Feyenoord have since become the flagship of the programme.
Feyenoord, in turn, has close ties to SuperSport United, having recruited the likes of Kemirt Erasmus and Kamohelo Mokotjo in recent years.
‘That they are identified by this programme doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to come to The Netherlands,’ clarified Gido Vader, the Head of International Relations at Feyenoord.
‘Some of the kids are now getting opportunities with professional clubs in South African football, for us that is also something positive.’
Partner Simsport International, meanwhile, are proud of the progress their programme has made and have referred to Tyrone Mondi as an example of its success.
‘He [Mondi] was on this program from the Bolton days from about the age of 15, now 19 after the [U21] tournament suddenly people are starting to ask questions. For us, it’s a milestone,’ representative Rasthoem Simons told Goal.
‘Education is also important for us, and Tyrone’s path up to this point has always been through education. He went to Bolton Wanderers and did exceptionally well. He came back and did his grade 11 and 12 in one year,’ he commented.
The programme may well see the development of an abundance of South African talent in the near future.