Zulu takes The Chance of a lifetime with Sundowns
Posted: 16 October 2012 Time: 13:46
Nike’s The Chance finalist, 16-year-old Melusi Zulu from Soweto, has signed a dream deal with the Mamelodi Sundowns.
Surpassing 5,000 local and 100,000 international hopefuls, Zulu, along with fellow South African finalists Charlie Tsotetsi and Nicholas Mynhardt, made it through to the Top 100 of Nike's The Chance global football competition hosted in Barcelona this August.
Zulu, who made it through to the final 16 of the competition, is the second of the three boys to sign with a PSL club. Mynhardt, a 20-year-old striker from Johannesburg, secured a three-year contract with the Kaizer Chiefs this September.
Nike's The Chance is a grassroots initiative that aims to fasttrack young football talent into professional structures around the globe. The competition continues to provide local boys with an international platform at the highest level, exposing them to some of the top talent scouts from around the world and in South Africa.
Johan Neeskens, The Chance head scout and Sundowns coach, says: "Not too many footballers have the opportunity to be a part of something like Nike's The Chance global football talent search.
"I'm happy for the club that Melusi decided to come to Mamelodi Sundowns. He has a lot of qualities, especially for his age, and I think he can only get better."
Zulu, who is thrilled about the prospect of playing professionally, thanked Nike and Sundowns for the opportunity and promised to work hard and give 100 percent.
Meanwhile, Charlie Tsotetsi from Heidelburg, also a top 16 finalist, will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime world tour from January 2013, travelling to the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, to compete against some of the most celebrated junior football academies in the world, including United States Soccer Federation Youth Academy, Juventus Youth Academy and Manchester United Youth Academy, respectively.
During the tour, Charlie's opportunity to turn professional will be accelerated as scouts frequent these academies to identify new talent.
In 2011, Reyaad Pieterse and Jonathon King were selected in the first The Chance trial hosted in London. They won a year-long contract at the Nike Academy, playing against the best academy teams in the world. Pieterse recently signed a professional contract with Shamrock Rovers FC in Ireland.