5 best young stars in the PSL
Posted: 9 December 2013 Time: 16:12
KickOff.com looks at the best PSL rookies who have burst onto the scene this season – you may not know their name now but soon you will ...
Every year clubs introduce their own nurtured and developed youngsters to the nation, and PSL academies have produced the likes of Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero, Andile Jali and Itumeleng Khune.
This season Golden Arrows announced they were promoting no less than seven development players to their first team.
Ajax Cape Town also did not hesitate to promote a number of their Copa Amsterdam-winning youngsters to the senior team.
In this feature Sandile Mazibuko takes a look at which of these youngsters have managed, despite their inexperience, to flourish in their new roles.
Top of the list is Ajax Cape Town’s Abbubaker Mobara
The Urban Warriors’ current team is chock-a-block with gifted youngsters.
Goalkeeper Brandon Petersen is a top talent who looked unstoppable before injury delayed his progress, he has since found game-time hard to come by as Anssi Jaakkola is currently in sizzling form.
Bantu Mzwakali is another one. He was voted man of the match on his PSL debut, despite featuring for only 68 minutes against Mamelodi Sundowns. He has since shown glimpses of a great talent and continues to be a great prospect.
But top of my current list is Mobara. Last season, the 19-year-old captained Ajax’s Under-19 side to the Metropolitan Premiers Cup, where he was also player of the series.
Although naturally a defender, Mobara has flourished alongside Cole Alexander in his new central midfield role. He has also won the man of the match accolade on a few occasions, including in Ajax’s 1-0 victory over Kaizer Chiefs, where he assisted another rookie, Tasreeq Morris, with the goal that downed Amakhosi at Cape Town Stadium.
Mobara has only missed three of Ajax’s matches this season, and has played 90 minutes in nine of Ajax’s Premiership clashes; after sustaining a head-injury he was replace in the Telkom Knockout encounter against SuperSport United.
Mpumalanga Black Aces’ Thabo Qalinge
A product of SuperSport United’s Academy, the 22-year-old possesses rare dribbling ability and has proven to be an integral member of Clive Barker’s team.
Despite competing for a place in the team with the tried and tested Abia Nale, Themba Zwane, Tshidiso Tukane, Mark Mayambela and Mkhanyiseli Siwahla (who have now been released by Aces), Qalinge continues to be among the first names on Barker’s teamsheet.
This season Qalinge has 12 appearances for Amazayoni, with 11 starts, and has found the back of the net once.
Maritzburg United’s Ayanda Nkosi
Despite United’s continued struggles this season, it took Nkosi only four minutes to score in his PSL debut against Mpumalanga Black Aces, in a 2-0 win.
Nkosi was discovered by former Bafana Bafana left-back, now University Of Johannesburg coach Bradley Carnell, but it was Ernst Middendorp who scouted him and brought him to United.
Just a year ago, the 20-year-old had no idea what was in store for him in football, as he focused on a BCom in Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg.
And although used sparingly to date, there is no doubt Nkosi exhibits all the traits of a top class marksman, and his two goals in six appearances have not gone unnoticed.
Bidvest Wits’ Kwanda Mngonyama
The 20-year-old central defender is on loan to Wits from Mamelodi Sundowns and, just like Nkosi, Mngonyama introduced himself with a goal on his debut.
He powered Wits into the lead in their Telkom Knockout encounter against Golden Arrows, and although Wits went on to lose, Mngonyama had a good game.
Ever since than he has played a full 90 minutes in all six Premiership fixtures, as he continues to impress Gavin Hunt ahead of seasoned campaigners such as Matthew Booth, Musa Bilankulu, Thomas Sweswe and Siboniso Gumede.
Bloemfontein Celtic’s Keagan Buchanan
The 21-year-old was signed by Clinton Larsen from FC Cape Town in the National First Division and is a former Ajax Cape Town, Sundowns, SuperSport United development player, who has also been on a trial trip to Tottenham Hotspur in England, where he trained with their first team and reserve team.
The former national Under-20 international has been a revelation in midfield for Phunya Sele Sele, and to date he has featured 10 times for Siwelele.
Buchanan grew up idolising Everton star Steven Pienaar and possesses similar style of play as the former Bafana Bafana captain.