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The Most Promising Prospects In SA Football

With more clubs seemingly keen on handing young South African players a chance in the Premier Soccer League, iDiski Times Editor Rob Delport, who is also the South African Head Researcher for the acclaimed Football Manager series, looked at some of the most promising young prospects currently playing pro football in South Africa.

All players are 21 or younger at the time of writing. To qualify for this list, these players have played senior professional football i.e. in the DStv Premiership or Motsepe Foundation Championship. 

Here are five of the most promising players who appeared on the list:

Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch) 5 May 2001 [21]

It’s actually amazing that Adams is still so young, considering how established he has become in the Stellies midfield. He may not be the most glamorous midfielder, but Adams is a workhorse and much of his hard work goes unrecognised. The Stellies central midfield is packed with these kinds of players, but they are the reason the guys ahead of them create so many opportunities.

Ashley Cupido (Cape Town Spurs) 5 May 2001 [21]

Cupido has already been capped at all levels nationally, and the striker-come-winger is having a great season at Spurs currently. He’s the league’s top scorer and is thriving alongside a dynamic young attack at Cape Town Spurs. In past seasons the 21-year-old struggled a bit with consistency, but over the last year, he has shown commitment and growth in that area, and has become one of the country’s most promising talents, and unsurprisingly there is reportedly interest in him from many top flight clubs.

Rushwin Dortley (Cape Town Spurs) 2 May 2002 [20]

He’s 1.92m tall, he’s a left-footed central defender, he’s only twenty, and he’s arguably one of the best defenders in the Motsepe Foundation Championship currently. No wonder almost every major club in South Africa is looking in his direction. The word however is that Spurs are holding out for an offer from Europe for Dortley, and have slapped a hefty R10 million tag on their bright prospect.

Kegan Johannes (SuperSport United) 31 March 2001 [21]

It feels like Kegan Johannes has been around forever, but the former Ajax Cape Town/Cape Town Spurs player is only 21. A talented and skilful defender, he could probably play in the midfield if needed, Johannes is also a great character, who plays with his heart on his sleeve. Just how far he goes is probably going to go down to opportunity, but whether locally or abroad, Johannes will go far. He is currently the national U23 captain and will hope to help South Africa qualify for the Olympics. He was the youngest member of the team that helped South Africa reach Tokyo last time out but unfortunately was excluded from the final squad.

Cassius Mailula (Mamelodi Sundowns) 12 June 2001 [21]

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A contender for the DStv Premiership Player of the Season, and a shoo-in for the Young Player of the Season, Mailula’s impact in this campaign has been well documented already. The 21-year-old has stood out in Sundowns’ star-studded setup, and grabbed his opportunities with both feet. Mailula has not only done well domestically but has also scored five goals in continental football, and is sure to have caught the eye of European scouts. It’s his only possible next destination after Chloorkop, the only question is when his ticket is booked.

You can check out Rob’s full list below and read his detailed opinion on each player in the digital version of edition 94 of the paper, available on this website for free.

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.