Preparations are under way for annual football academy clash

Supersport United Soccer Schools academy coach Keagan Hertz prepares for his training session with the youngsters. Photo: Siso Naile.

Supersport United Soccer Schools development coach Keagan Hertz has opened up about preparing his side for the Supersport World Cup Futbol De Salao taking place in less than three months.

The soccer trainer, who lends his time and football expertise to youngsters in Ruimsig from as young as seven years old, told Northsider that he feels confident that his side will conquer all the age groups this year, and make up for their disappointing display last year.

Related stories: Super Sport United trainer extends his soccer experience to nurture youngsters

Futbol De Salao is an annual soccer competition that sees all Supersport United Soccer Schools academies across Johannesburg clash in the different divisions in order to claim the title.

“Last year we won the U/9 trophy and lost in the U/11 finals. But this year we’re hoping to win each and every age group and we feel pretty confident of doing so,” Keagan said.

Although the venue is unclear at this stage, Keagan added that the event is likely to take place in Fourways at the Rustic Timber Centre.

Keagan also shared some of the highlights and achievements his players have bagged. “We had a few matches recently and we’ve done very well. We have welcomed two U/7 boys to the academy and had a few boys that have been accepted to the Randburg Academy which is connected to Orlando Pirates, and also have boys currently on trial with Bidvest Wits Football Club,” he explained, adding that he wants to increase the numbers next year.

The coach also opened up about the soccer school’s growth, and the passion and commitment which his players show. “The commitment from the players has been very good, the school has grown and there have been lots of parents banging on our doors to get in,” he said.

Supersport United Soccer Schools academy coach Keagan Hertz talks preparations for Futbol De Salao and academy achievements. Photo: Siso Naile.

Keagan has been with the academy for about three years and said he had produced high-quality players who have now joined other academies.

He said it takes about a year and a half for a new player to adapt to the football programme, and it requires a full commitment from the youngsters.

“It takes a while for the football programme to kick in. We encourage the players to practise four times a week but generally, most of the players come at least twice a week, which is the minimum we accept,” he emphasised.

Keagan hosts his training at the Ruimsig Country Club on weekdays and weekends.

He further explained that his committed players who live and breathe football are showing positive results.

“If you want to be a great footballer, you have to practise all year around. You can’t just think you’re going to do it for three months and then one day expect to play good football,” Keagan concluded.

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