27 July 2017 – As teams continue to strut their stuff at the Nike Centre in Pimville, Soweto for the ongoing SAB U21 National Championships, national U23 coach Owen da Gama spoke of his excitement at being the chief scout at the tournament.
Da Gama, along with among other coaches Thabo Senong have been sitting from the Nike Centre rooftop with the best view of the two fields, watching youngsters from all corners of the country fighting to make it to the final that will be played on Sunday.
As the chief scout for the SAB, Da Gama is tasked with unearthing talented players and if the first two days are anything to go by, the experienced coach feels there is a lot of players to look at.
“I have seen players here that can go and play in the PSL if given a chance. I have seen a few scouts from PSL teams and that excites me because this is a melting pot of raw talent. You have all great footballers selected from all provinces and they are willing to be taught to take their football to the next level. The players are explosive and you can see that they will grow up to be great,” Da Gama said.
As impressed as he is already, Da Gama expects the youngsters to improve as the tournament progresses and as they get used to playing on an artificial turf.
“I have seen glimpses of brilliance and it is safe to say that these boys will get better as the tournament progresses. They will start to gel and you will then begin to see just how talented they are.
We have seen fantastic goals where the young strikers are proving that we have goal scorers.
The organizational play of the teams will improve as the tournament goals. These teams are coached by people with CAF and SAFA badges,” Da Gama said.