Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo has hit back at the criticism directed towards his newly-formed academy for charging a R250 fee for trials.
Khuzwayo took to social media on Wednesday morning to announce the start of the Brilliant Soccer Academy, the first step of one of his key ambitions towards starting his own football club.
However, a barrage of negative responses ensued over the fee required for kids between the U-13 and U-19 teams to attend the closed sessions in the first two weeks of December.
"On the R250 registration, it's not just going to be trials per say, but rather a pilot of what the academy is all about," Khuzwayo explains to KickOff.com.
"Financial management is one of the big features that the academy will push because we've seen how many footballers have failed in managing their finances as it's difficult [when you are earning money fast].
"Secondly, we will touch on brand management, I don't think in South Africa we actually we look into this while players are active. This on top of the soccer clinics and training while the actual trials will take place over the two weekends."
The former Amakhosi keeper went on to reveal that professional coaches will be roped in to assist on the field, while football development is just one of the facets he hopes to cover in conjunction with the Brilliant Khuzwayo Foundation.
"The kids will be learning so much besides the trials whilst we raise awareness of what the academy will represent [for the community]. Even the coaches will be qualified CAF coaches. None of these kids will go home empty-handed, they will be learning," the 30-year-old explains.
"There will be five coaches, I will be taking the goalkeeping department – I think the R250 is small, the services that will be provided will be worth more than this. It's taking a step, it's a programme for a full year. This will be an attempt to equip kids in communities to be better prepared for the world we live in.
"Not all these players in my academy will become superstars but how do we equip them to be useful, without success in football? This is going to be the pilot.
"You need to pay coaches, the financial advisors coming in, to be honest, I wanted to do this personally on my own without the responsibility of having to constantly chase sponsors. Even the balls, the markers, the jerseys I will provide. I need to pay for this out of my own pocket, people don't see this.
"The kids will also get t-shirts, food and their parents must be there, they can't come without their parents or guardian. In any academy you need a signature of a legal guardian at least and they will see the services we provide."