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Goal Drought: 'Strikers a Dying Breed in South African Football'

Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search coaches, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, Mike Mangena, Khabo Zondo and Owen Da Gama, have bemoaned the lack of develo...

Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search coaches, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, Mike Mangena, Khabo Zondo and Owen Da Gama, have bemoaned the lack of development of strikers in the country.

In five rounds of trials, the coaches say they have struggled to find players who want to take up the role and responsibility of being a striker.

The Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have already hosted try-outs for the Ke Yona team, with Tshwane’s Lucas Moripe Stadium hosting the last round of trials on 4 June.

Since the inception of the search, the Ke Yona Team hasn’t scored in any of the matches played against Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns for the Ke Yona Cup.

Said Mangena: “As a country we have a huge problem. The top goal-scorers are foreign players, which is why Bafana Bafana and the Under-23s are struggling to score goals.

“We don’t have strikers. We don’t have players who will shoulder that responsibility to score goals. That is an area that needs to be addressed at junior level.
Benni McCarthy 
“I’d love to see a South African being the top goal-scorer – that player would go on to play for Bafana and score goals.” Zambian Collins Mbesuma finished the current 2015-16 season as top goal-scorer in the Absa Premiership.

Senior national men’s coach Mashaba is concerned about the lack of development of players in amateur football. He said they usually had to start from scratch with the players attending these trials.

Added Mashaba: “We all talk about the end result, a player going on to represent the country, but it has to start somewhere. We need highly skilled, qualified coaches at grassroots level. ”

Benedict Saul "Benni" McCarthy, who was recently appointed a first-team coach at Manchester United is the South Africa national team's all-time top scorer with 31 goals. He is also the only South African to have won the UEFA Champions League, doing so with Porto in 2003–04.

McCarthy was born in Cape Town and grew up in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats, an area notorious for its high unemployment rate and gang violence. He is the son of Dudley and Dora McCarthy and has two brothers and a sister.

His older brother is Jerome McCarthy, a former professional footballer who played for Kaizer Chiefs and Manning Rangers, among other clubs, while his younger brother Mark played football at Franklin Pierce University in the United States.

McCarthy began playing at a local side called Young Pirates, which was managed by his uncles. He then joined the youth structures of a local amateur club called Crusaders. At age 17, he was signed by first division club Seven Stars.

He is managed by ExtraTime S.L. - Online sources

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