9 February 2018 – Growing up in the notorious township of Zola, in Soweto young SAB League star, Siyanda Mthombeni is thankful to the SAB League for providing an escape from what many youngsters from his community suffer from.
“Mshini” as the 19-year-old is affectionately known has been playing football from the tender age of six with his friends and says football is the only “drug” he is hooked on and doesn’t want any form of rehab from it.
“Growing up in Zola, you are exposed to so much crime and substance abuse and if you aren’t disciplined or have something that keeps you busy, you can easily fall into the trap of substance abuse or crime. I am so thankful to the SAB League for keeping us off the streets and away from crime. Zola used to produce a lot of players but that has slowed down a bit and substance abuse has a lot to do with the amount of talent that gets lost” says Mthombeni.
The skilful winger had a brief stint with the Mamelodi Sundowns reserve side but due to a hectic matric schedule last year, he had to drop out of the team to focus on his school work.
“My grandmother is very strict and emphasises the importance of education. She told me that I need to find a local team that won’t require me to travel a lot because my school work is much more important than football at this stage of my life”.
The SAB League continues to be South Africa’s leading source of identifying young talent with a number of Bafana Bafana players having started their football careers at the SAB sponsored league which has been running for more than 15 years under the auspices of SAFA.