Getting scouted by a prestigious European soccer club seems very much like a dream to most, however, this could soon become reality for one young man from Imizamo Yethu.
Lubabalo Mtyobi, 15,was recently selected out of 100 talented players to be in the Isimemo saseKapa soccer squad.
The squad tours Italy in June and the players have a golden opportunity to participate in Serie A and Serie B coaching clinics all over the boot-shaped country.
Lubabalo, who is now in Grade 9, was a pupil at Kronendal Primary School when he got selected to play cricket for the Western Province under-11 and under-12 teams.
In 2018, he started attending Wynberg Boys’ High School, where he played for the first soccer team.
“My dad used to play soccer down by the soccer field, opposite BP garage and he used to train me at a very young age. Last year, in October, my school hosted a soccer tournament and lots of schools from all over Cape Town joined in. I played very well and was selected as the player of the match,” said Lubabalo.
The international tour costs
R33 830 – R10 600 for flights and
R23 230 for on the ground arrangements, including accommodation, transfers, match and tournament fees, the tour kit, visas, guide and sightseeing.
Lubabalo’s parents, Nonkumbulo and Xola Mtyobile, have already paid R13 850 for the trip but R19 980 is still needed.
A total of R6 360 has been contributed through crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy.
“We as his parents are so grateful for all the donations we have received. The funds are growing, and that is because of people all over the world,” says an ecstatic
Ms Mtyobile. “This is the first time that he will be travelling overseas and we are so excited for him.”
Lubabalo is not only well supported by his family, but also by his coach, Ronald Rudd.
“Because he is young, we feel that he has the opportunity to be noticed early, and clubs take interest as it allows them an opportunity to work with a player in their formative years,” said Mr Rudd.
Mr Rudd, who is also the vice-principal at Wynberg Boys’ High School, is the co-founder of the Isisemo saseKapa team.
Along with three other coaches, he felt the youth of Cape Town desperately needed a platform to showcase their skills.
They created the Isimemo saseKapa group and are supported by WBHS, who have made their facilities available at no cost.
Last year, the group travelled to the San Marino Republic and competed in the biggest local youth Italian tournament, where the team came first.
“We train regularly, creating a team and family environment, and when we tour, it is
primarily a soccer experience with an intensive regime,” explained Mr Rudd.
Asked who his favourite soccer player is, Lubabalo said Lionel Messi.
“He is just a master in the game and he puts his team before his individual achievements. One day I can only hope I will be like him.”
Lubabalo is still in need of pocket money, boots, a tracksuit and any travel necessities. Any donations can be made on the BackaBuddy website or via
Ms Mytobile on 078 526 0010.