Letsoaka lauds MDC for youth development

The likes of Wiseman Meyiwa at Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates' Lyle Foster and Reeve Frosler at Bidvest Wits have emerged as the next generation of Absa Premiership stars, staking their claim as youngsters ready to fight for a starting place at their respective clubs.

And Letsoaka, who has extensive experience with young players, having previously coached the South Africa U-12, U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides, feels the current reserve league structure has done wonders in helping identify future talent.

"I think we have to commend many teams in the PSL, as the emergence of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge has really helped these young players play at the highest level," he tells KickOff.com.

"Had it not been for the MDC, you would not have seen that a player like Percy Tau could play at the highest level. So the clubs where these players are being developed must be commended for the good work they are doing.

"If you look at Kaizer Chiefs, you see two or three players coming up from the development, so you can see the club understands that players are too expensive, so the importance of developing talent is key."

Added to the MDC's influence, Letsoaka feels club coaches must also be applauded for taking the risk and investing in their youth products.

"Secondly, the bravery of the coaches to say that these youngsters can play at this level and giving them the confidence to play," he continues.

"If you look at Phakamani Mahlambi, what he did last year, [Nduduzo] Sibiya at Golden Arrows, Dumisani Zuma – formerly with Bloemfontein Celtic – you see an emergence of a lot of youngsters who must be taken care of in the country, and the bravery of the coaches to ensure that they give them an opportunity to play.

"These are not the players they we rely on for results, but it is important to develop them with experienced players so they gain experience themselves.

"So the bravery of the coaches is important, the MDC has definitely helped in giving us the opportunity to ensure we develop these kinds of players who can play at this level."