Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane says the club is on a two-fold mission to produce future stars and help junior national teams.
The Amakhosi mentor was speaking after beating Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership on Saturday with a team that included six youth academy players in the match day squad.
It’s become clear since taking over at Naturena that part of Zwane’s mandate is to push as many development prospects as possible into the senior side.
“I’m a believer of giving the youngsters an opportunity because I was once a youngster and I was given a fair chance to express myself. I might have blossomed later in my football career but when you look at what we are not doing right as a nation is not giving the deserving youngsters the opportunity to go out there and shine,” he said.
The Chiefs mentor adds that too many players blossom late because they are being snubbed.
“We expect our national team to have very good players or our backup team like the u23’s at that level to have good players that can fit the senior national team and yet we are not giving them the opportunity,” he added.
Zwane insists that youth players are part of the Amakhosi DNA.
“As soon as we are settled in terms of what we want to achieve from our side, you will see more youngsters.
“They are the future of this country and when you go back and look at the history of Kaizer Chiefs, whenever Kaizer Chiefs dominated they had quite a few youngsters from their development, that understands the culture and knows what it means to play for a team of Kaizer Chiefs calibre,” he explained.
The fact that 19-year-old Mduduzi Shabalala played 90 minutes in the Soweto Derby win over Pirates on Saturday should encourage his peers, says Zwane.
“We’ve got a very strong spine right now we just need to make sure that we keep on doing the right thing. When Mdu plays for 90 minutes in a game of this magnitude it encourages other youngsters to want to be part of the team in future,” he concluded.