Young Madibaz football star Caleb Turner has been chosen for the University Sport South Africa team to compete in the SA Football Association-SAB U21 League National Championship next week.
The national tournament, which starts in Mahikeng, North West, on Monday, pits the nine provincial champions, along with the USSA team, against one another.
The competing teams are North West, Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and USSA.
The 19-year-old Nelson Mandela University management student said it was one of his goals this year to make the U21 team.
“This is a big tournament and it is one of our best chances to perhaps get recognised by professional clubs,” he said.
“I would like to learn from the matches we play to add something new to my game, as well as to take the experience back to my teammates at Madibaz.”
He added that one of the major reasons for his USSA selection was the support he received from his colleagues and coaches.
“I don’t think any of this would have been possible without them.
“My mentors in Madibaz football manager Mark Tommy and coaches Wayne Iveson and Nick Myataza have always kept us motivated on and off the field.
“I also want to thank my family, who have encouraged me from a young age and have always been there in support.”
Tommy said Turner was a typical example of a player who had come along the pathway Madibaz soccer had developed to give exposure to young, local talent.
“Caleb was a promising player in matric when we identified him as a player with potential and he was part of the team which won successive SAB League titles in 2016 and 2017,” he said.
“This has seen his game develop, enabling him to compete at a higher level and earning him recognition by the USSA U21 selectors.”