Banda, who currently works with under-12 and under-13 youngsters at Amanganga Primary School in KwaNdengezi Township in Durban, says “real football development” starts at Under-12, and not at Under-19.
“As much as MultiChoice Diski Challenge will come in handy for some of the PSL’s fringe players, who don’t get game-time and those from the reserve teams, we need to be careful when we talk about ‘development’,” says Sparks.
“To me this is not a league for development, but a reserve league that only benefits the 16 PSL teams’ coaches who assess their reserve team players’ readiness for first team selection.
“You can’t say you develop a player at the age of 18 or 19, because at that age the player should be playing in the first team already, and fighting for his place in the starting-eleven,” says Banda.
The former Sea Robber also goes on to emphasize the importance of grassroots football development as the key to the development of football in South Africa.
“I challenge both SAFA and SASFA (South African Schools Football Association) to launch a development league for under-12, under-13 and under-15s in the LFAs as well as schools’ leagues nationwide, for real development of football that will be beneficial for the whole country; not only for 16 professional teams. “Unless we prioritise the development of football at grassroots level, we will always lag behind in international football,” adds Banda, who previously worked with the late April “Styles” Phumo at the national under-20 team.