Fabian McCarthy says former football players must roll up their sleeves and plough back into football what they learnt as football players.

The former Kaizer Chiefs defender was one of the former Bafana Bafana stars who conducted coaching clinics and helped identify talent at the annual Solar Youth Cup that took place at JTG Region in Northern Cape over the weekend.

The tournament was attended by, among others, SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan and the entire Northern Cape SAFA Executive apart from Mr Aubrey Baartman who didn’t attend due to work commitments. Also in attendance was NEC member Ms Ria Ledwaba.

McCarthy said it was imperative for former stars to go through coaching courses, attain badges and help upcoming talent that needed to be honed.

“In most cases, former players complain from the sidelines that they are being marginalised but that is not true. We must not sit on the sidelines and complain without doing anything to uplift the game.

“We have a lot of opportunities to help grow and identify talent. In most cases especially in far-flung areas, there is massive talent but because the players are not coached properly, that talent at times goes to waste. It is our duty as former players to attain coaching badges and help implement what SAFA is trying to achieve; that is identify and polish the budding talent and grow the game,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Stanton Fredericks who was also part of the talent scouts together with Arthur Zwane and u20 coach Molefi Ntseki.

Fredericks said he was impressed by the talent in the Northern Cape adding that soon this province would produce big name stars.

He lauded the JTG Region and its President Peter Manchonyane as forward thinking intent on helping develop the game of football.

“There is too much talent here in JTG Region and Northern Cape as a whole and I think this initiative which is being helped by various corporate will soon reap rich rewards. This Province has too much talent not to have a National First Division club, let alone the Premier Soccer League team. But that is likely to change soon if the Province continue working hard,” he said.

Solar Energy companies invested billions of Rand in Northern Cape and as part of their social investment responsibilities have invested in JTG Region. An agreement between SAFA and the Spanish LaLiga entails providing soccer balls which will be delivered to the Province soon.

“The fact that this tournament is supported by McCarthy who is from Vryburg, Arthur Zwane and Stanton Fredericks shows how this project has been commonly embraced. They will announce a squad and identify talented players who will go to Spain.

“LaLiga will send coaches to coach coaches and the primary focus would be rural Regions which are 60 percent of our regions,” said Dr Jordaan.