City’s 15-Year-Old Gem Surprised Teko!
Luphumlo Sifumba made his Diski Challenge debut for Cape Town City this past weekend, and the 15-year-old known as ‘Kaka’ has an interesting backstory on just how he got discovered.
The teenager was first scouted as a 9-year-old by City’s Head of Football Development, Grant Veitch, when Veitch was still a part of the Hellenic Football Academy.
But he was almost lost to the football wilderness a few years later, but the persistent Veitch continued to monitor his career, and ‘snuck’ him into the City system, when he got the chance.
It was there that he also caught the eye of Teko Modise who was part of the club’s DreamClub 100 project.
Sifumba made his debut for City in their 4-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Diski Challenge competition.
He is also on the national radar and was part of the Veli Khumalo’s Amajimbos squad earlier this year, but unfortunately the CAF under-17 Cup of Nations was cancelled.
“There’s a boy that got called up to the national under-17 team now,” Veitch told iDiski Times exclusively.
“Luphumlo Sifumba, he is 15, an amazing talent, but again I went to go watch in Philippi, found this boy playing with under-12s. I asked him how old he was, he said he was nine, and he was the best player on the field by far.”
“And he went to Hellenic, was there for two years, they couldn’t offer transport after I left. I thought I hope this boy doesn’t sign for someone because someone must find him.”
“And when he was 15 years old, he was still with an amateur football club.”
“And so we had our whole Dream Club project, so that is 2000 players, okay, and his club wasn’t a part of that. So I couldn’t include him in there. But I kept him on the side and waited.”
“Then we selected our Dream Select team, which is the best from the 85 teams that get knocked out and they compete with the 15 teams that are still in our tournament. And Teko (Modise) was involved in that process and was getting excited and jumping up and down, And saying, ‘geez, look at these boys, look at these boys, look at this, look at this,’ really getting involved in that team. And he was so excited. He knew all the boys by name. He was like, ‘No, this is my team.’ ”
“And I couldn’t just bring ‘Kaka’, we call him ‘Kaka’, into that setup at that point, but I thought I’d just throw Teko a curveball.”
“And when we had our first training session with the squad after the whole tournament was finished, I threw this little boy like around the corner, into the session and Teko rocked up, started doing the drill.”
“And as he took his first like five touches Teko turn around at me, looked at me and went, ‘This?’ and I can’t tell you what other people did not see.”
“But I’ve seen I’ve seen this boy since he was nine years old, and I’m lucky enough to have a very good memory. So I can remember a nine year old and go ‘remember when you’re 15, you’re going to come join me.’ And that’s my luck.”
“That’s my good trait that I have, everyone can see good talent, but it’s about recalling that talent, and at the right moment. That’s the most important thing.“
Veitch and Michel Comitis, City’s Managing Director, were featured in Edition 14 of iDiski Times, where they told Rob Delport about the club’s recruitment policy and much more.