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Pitso Mosimane Soccer School’s In Full Motion With Major Ambitions

The Pitso Mosimane Soccer School (PMSS) and Football Club is starting to take shape with the ambition to produce talent for Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.

On Sunday morning, a long journey to Mamelodi took us to something that sparked positivity and excitement, not only from myself but from thousands of kids who were trialling for the newly formed Pitso Mosimane Football Club in the region.

For kids just to have a space to express themselves for those few hours and play for sport they love, from the ages of five to 13, it was heartwarming in what was over 30 degrees heat to endure with the hope of becoming the next star of tomorrow.

“Over the two weekends we’ve been in Mamelodi, we’ve averaged over 500 kids per day, significantly more than we expected, and sadly and unfortunately we’ve had to turn players away, largely due to facilities and limitations we have there, but despite the numbers it’s been an unbelievable experience,” head of youth Justin Collett said.

“It’s something the community is looking for, they turned up in their droves and the talent has been tremendous, it’s been fantastic to see so many boys and girls out here.

“The Boksburg club will play in Easterns LFA, the Midrand and Northriding clubs will play in Rand Central LFA and then here [in Mamelodi] they will be part of Malfa, that’s the Mamelodi Local Football Association.

“The GDL is one of our goals in the future but it’s a process that takes time and as we develop our youngsters, we hope to compete at that level in the future.

“I think [girls] needs to be a focus across the board, SAFA, throughout the country, again to reference my experience in America, I’ve seen first-hand what sports does for girls and we’re doing a bit of injustice for them in the country, it’s something we need to prioritise – so yes… we’re bringing girls on no matter what level and ability, get them started, and hopefully it will attract more girls in the program.”

Moira Tlhagale, Managing Director of MT Sports and co-founder of the PMSS admits the amount of kids who attended the trials over the two weekends was incredible, with some even arriving from different provinces.

“We were expecting to have big numbers but they surpassed what we anticipated, so it’s been heartwarming to see there’s so much interest in our children to play soccer in particular, and there’s hunger in our communities and townships for soccer, and this that we’re bringing in Mamelodi has received so much warmth,” Tlhagale said.

“The whole approach or mandate coach Pitso gave us was that he wants to see Pitso Mosimane Football Club’s more in townships of Mamelodi, Shoshanguve, Alexandra, Soweto, Vaal etc. So I think we just had this opportunity for this specific facility in Mamelodi that we could get, we spoke to the municipality and were able to lease this property, that’s how Mamelodi became the forefront of other townships we still want to go to.

“We have Northriding, Midrand and Boksburg, we’re using school facilities which isn’t an easy option for our townships, so we’ll look for municipal-owned facilities, this one I’m told it’s been 25 years, dilapidated and not used so it’s something we’re able to take, spend money and bring it to the fore for the home of Pitso Mosimane Football Club Mamelodi.

“In Midrand we had children coming from Bela Bela, Klerksdorp, Mpumalanga, we had parents coming from Rustenberg last year, it’s not practical for them to come here three times a week for training,” she added.

“These children go to school, their parents work, it’s not sustainable, we wish we could wake up and have this program everywhere else, which is impossible. So after we launch the Football Club, is to look for a proper partnership with a school which has a boarding facility, that will then help children as young as 10 or 11 and be in a facility with a very good school and be part of our program, it just shows how hungry our country is for a structure of product that’s structured and deliberate to create that player of coach Pitso’s level.”

Coach Pitso’s Vision

With the PMSS being in its infancy, many have been asking the question, what is the goal? Tlhagale reiterated that it’s to cover the cracks in South African football development, with coach Mosimane looking to produce players for the national team and beyond.

“Coach Pitso’s mandate is that in 12 years when our six years old’s are 18, he wants to see them in Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana, the second part is that we need to produce players who compete at the highest level in the world, we see a lot of our children taken outside the country playing for those teams,” she said.

“As we grow we said we’ll extend from U15 to U17 and U19 and grow with them until someday we will have our own PSL team, that we can feed these children too, it’s what coach Pitso dreams.

“We have a massive pool of children, look at the Curro schools which average of kids of 1000, some have 3500 kids, we have some 12,000 children with the 12 schools, here we had 1000 kids [on trial] we’ll maximise to 200 per location, we can grow to 20,000 children at some point in the next five years and then from that number, we’ll look at about 50 children who are real creme del a creme, we will put them in an education institution where we’ll give them bursaries, focused on soccer.

“Our bigger dream is that with the department of education, we come up with a curriculum that is specific and relevant for a child who is an elite sportsperson, and ultimately our kids playing for the FC Barcelona of this world.”

“It’s two-fold, we will actively recruit players on behalf of Curro schools, but our big dream and goal is to create our own school, so yes we use the [PMSS] as a training program but ultimately we want to house and educate our players in the future.”

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.