06 July 2018 – The Hoy Park Management and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust will once again take the KwaZulu-Natal Academy Team around Europe to gain much needed international experience and possibly to secure professional contracts. The inaugural Europe tour was last year after the Durban Under 19 International Football Tournament was put on hold.
This big announcement was made on 04 July during a Farewell breakfast that was hosted by Tsogo Sun at the Garden Court Marine Parade in Durban.
The team will depart on Sunday, 15 July for an international tour to Portugal until 29 July. The travelling team is made up of players born in 1999, 2000, 2001 and three players born in 2003. They will play against some of Europe best-known football academies including Sporting Lisbon, Estoril Football Club and Victoria Setubal.
The 18 man squad will be led by the Head Coach Sboniso Vilkazi and his Assistant Bayanda Mthembu.
Speaking at the farewell breakfast, the Director of Hoy Park Management, Carlos Catalino said that the international tour is an opportunity for KZN Football Academy and South African Football Association to showcase local talent to the rest of the world.
“It is important to equip our players with best skills to compete on an international stage with some of the best teams in the world. We are not only about developing players but also our technical team, this tour will also enable our coaches to learn from their international counterparts and also find out more about the best practice of the modern game,” said Catalino.
The National Executive Member of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Mbongeleni Shibe said that SAFA is fully behind the KwaZulu-Natal Football Academy and they are impressed with the work that has been done thus far.
“We want other provinces to emulate what has been done by the KwaZulu-Natal Football Academy. This will provide us with an opportunity to fast track the development of football in the country and the tour will also help us to measure our standard of football against that of the world,” said Mshibe.