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Platinum Stars head of development Alan Clark says goalkeeper Nhlakanipho Duma’s call up to the national U20 team is a vote of confidence in the club’s academy.

Duma is part of a provisional 35 man squad currently in camp ahead of Amajita’s CAF U20 African Youth Championship first leg qualifier against Namibia at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek next week Saturday. Amajita coach Thabo Senong is still to trim the squad down to 20. Duma will be crossing his fingers that he makes the cut. Clark says the club is proud of Duma and he has expressed confidence in the ability of Dikwena’s U19 goalkeeper.

“We are very proud as a club to have Duma in the national team. We are excited about the prospect of him representing us. It’s a huge honor. He is a new player that we have got in our Platinum Stars set up. It’s good to be recognized with this sort of recognition of him been called up. It’s important for our academy to make sure that we produce players that can not only benefit us but also South African football. I hope he does well and represent us well by doing his very best,” said Clark.

“Duma has played for the u20 before which is why he caught our attention. He is currently in our U19 team which plays in the new Safa Gauteng Developmental League. We have just been registered into for the first time ever. He is currently a part of the players that are training with the first team squad under Cavin Johnson. He is an exciting young keeper and one for the future. He is tall and he has got great footwork. He is good with the ball at his feet and he has got experience at his age. He is a good communicator and good commander of his area. He is someone who is positive to have around the change room and training.”

While Duma is away on national camp, his Dikwena teammates will be up against their peers in the Safa Gautenf Developmental League. Clark says Dikwena’s participation in the league bodes well for the club’s objectives of producing players that can campaign in the PSL. Dikwena has four teams – U13, U15, U17 and U19 in the league.

“Our U13, U15, U17 and U19 are all participating in the league. It means every weekend we are playing against other PSL development teams which is great for us. We have got some really good results against the likes of Jomo Cosmos and Mpumalanga Black Aces. It’s has been quite exciting. This week we play against the School of Excellence. It’s another exciting experience which is an opportunity for us to test where we are in our academy,” said Clark.

Clack is of the view that the exposure and the experience that Dikwena youngsters get from participating in the competition will go a long way in preparing them for the future.

“It’s good to get exposure at academy level but it’s about preparing our players for the PSL. It’s about improving our players and not to go for the results so much but to get more players in the PSL for us as a club,” said Clark.

Posted: 14-05-2016
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