'I want to start my own club in SA'

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Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters has signalled his intention to purchase a club as he looks towards life after his professional football career.

Walters, 38, hung up his gloves after a stint with Ajax Cape Town and opened up a goalkeeper academy in his hometown before relocating to Johannesburg in September last year to kickstart his ambitious plans for the future.

"I felt that there was a bigger demographic in Gauteng to build awareness for the lack of goalkeeping coaching," Walters tells KickOff.com.

"When you want to make your voice heard and build a project, it's a little bit easier to achieve in Gauteng than where I was in Cape Town.

"I would have loved to do it there, but it's harder there in terms of gaining financial support and even from local government or even people for funding."

Having established his academy in 2016 when he moved to newly-formed Cape Town City, Walters, who enjoyed more than a decade in the PSL has now set his sights on something bigger.

"I have playing clients in my academy and have been looking to identifying some great talent to gain sponsors for but this was halted when the pandemic hit as you know we are all facing the economic crisis. Most companies that were having CSI findings and were looking to find projects pulled out."

Scroll through the gallery to see SA footballers who opened business during their careers

Walters' main goal is to widen the net of catching talent that failed to break into the professional ranks after academy development and amateur clubs with high-level training and networking towards potentially sending players abroad with scholarships in mind.

"If it's not PSL, I want to help the kids know that there are other ways to become a successful footballer," he explained.

"I know the struggles that I went through, having worked a job and playing part-time before earning a move to the R2000-a-month deal at Vasco da Gama in the second-tier in 2005.

"Only after moving to Bloemfontein Celtic I was able to quit my job and play football full-time and many talents players will never have the luxury and we end up losing out on incredible talent."

He continued: "I have been doing one-on-one with goalkeepers now but I have also been looking at players to identify for the club I want to buy and what I'm looking at is an academy-based club like your Stars of Africa who produces talent to move abroad and just compete in the lower divisions before establishing itself over time with a sound business model."

Together with Supernova Sports Group, Walters is now looking to make the dream a reality by moving ahead with the purchase of an ABC Motsepe League status.

“Sports group is based in South Africa and we're interested in purchasing the Motsepe league status of a club based in Gauteng or Free State," the former Celtic keeper said.

"The group will leverage off my experience in creating a platform for talented footballers to excel at the highest level.

"We're looking towards a partial purchase of majority ownership but preference is for an outright purchase and any owners looking to sell should please get in touch."

The rationale for investing in an ABC Motsepe status is three-prong he concludes:

  1. To provide a platform for talented players to have a fair chance of showcasing their talent with a view to pursuing professional football careers locally and internationally.
  2. To build an organisation with ambitions of gaining promotion to the Glad Africa league, the PSL and eventually competing on a continental/ international stage.
  3. To develop the mentality of the modern-day footballer on/ off the field. Much more than just football, the intention is not just to groom people to have a winning sporting mentality but more importantly to continue to develop as people in society through education, mentoring, being socially responsible and ultimately having sustainable livelihoods.

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