3 ways in which SAB is helping South African soccer

23 Jun 14

26_02_2_Blog SAB and South African footballCommunity development through sport

SAB has a rich history of involvement in South African football. It’s a relationship that dates as far back as the late 1950s when Castle Lager first invested in the National Football Leagues. Our investment in football at grassroots level is entrenched in our conviction that socio-economic change can be brought to SA’s communities through sport.

Today we invest in developing players at three main levels:

  • the SAB League: developing players at grassroots level
  • Castle Superstars: intermediate level
  • Carling Black Label Coaches: coaching level

SAB League

The aim of the SAB League is to identify and nurture young sporting talent at grassroots level, promoting the opportunity for them to move through the ranks of SA football.

This is South Africa’s largest senior football development league with a nationwide reach covering SAFA’s 53 regions. A total of 1, 350 clubs participate in the SAB League, equating to 30, 000 players.

As South African football’s Third Division, the SAB League provides a platform for players and teams to be promoted to the Second Division, Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams, National First Division teams and the ultimate, the national side, Bafana Bafana.

As evidence of its success, the SAB League has over the years been the springboard for some of South Africa’s top football players. Some well-known SAB League alumni include:

  • Reneilwe Letsholonyane - Kaizer Chiefs,
  • Happy Jele - Orlando Pirates,
  • Innocent Mdledle - Mamelodi Sundowns,
  • Kagiso Dekgacoi - plays in the UK,
  • Innocent Mdledle - Super Sport United.

Castle Lager SuperStars

In 2012, Castle Lager embarked on a mission to find and nurture football talent in South Africa through its Castle Lager SuperStars initiative: a specialised training and mentorship programme.

Using the latest technology, top local scouts and ambassadors (including Neil Tovey, Phil Masinga and John Moshoeu) Castle Lager selects a team of talented young players from The SAB League matches across the country.

These players, who are all between the ages of 18 and 21, then attend an intensive two-week training camp in high performance facilities at Stellenbosch and the University of Pretoria. The camp is led by Neil Tovey and focuses on fast-tracking player development through a series of seminars and training sessions. The initiative’s ambassadors participate in the training camp, acting as mentors to the players and preparing them for their upcoming trials. They also continue playing a role in the players’ development post the training camp – whether they are successful at the trials or not.

During the training camp, the Castle Lager Superstars XI get to play practice matches against top PSL teams. Talent scouts attend these matches to review opportunities for the future of these talented young players.

Carling Black Label Coaches

Our ‘Carling Black Label Coaches’ initiative recognises that one of the most important parts of the future success of football in South Africa is the nurturing of the coaches. These are the people who influence the country’s young football talent the most.

The aim of the initiative is to enable the transition of coaches to a higher league and to up-skill the level of coaching in the country, overall.

After meeting careful selection criteria, 36 coaches from the SAB League teams that are advancing to the Vodacom League are selected to undergo a four day workshop in Johannesburg with ex-Bafana Bafana coach, Pitso Mosimane. The workshop includes guest lecturers and subject matter experts and covers topics such a sports psychology, player conditioning, video technology analysis and modern football trends, amongst other themes.

Upon completion of the workshop, coaches receive a certificate and coaches kit, filled with the latest coaching gear. But perhaps the most important take out of all is that the workshop enables coaches to leave fully equipped with all the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to become the next champion coaches.

A passion for football development

We are committed to developing the future of football in South Africa, from grassroots level right up to the national team.

Our our six decade involvement in football is set to continue, driven by the sport’s proven track record of uniting people and nations, and the positive impact this has on our communities.

For more soccer success stories on our blog click here.