March 5, 2024

Alexi Efstathiou: Our national team could benefit from these kind of academies

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town Spurs CEO, Alexi Efstathiou, believes the South African football national team, Bafana Bafana could benefit from the types of youth academies the club is running.

On Thursday the club had a special visit from the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture of South Africa, Zizi Kodwa.

As the club prepares for the return to the topflight football after a five-year absence, Efstathiou believes youth academies like the Spurs one should be embraced.

“We wanted to show the minister how possible it is, Bafana Bafana could really benefit from these types of academies. That is why we have invited him to come to visit so that we can show him what we have been doing here over these years,” said Efstathiou.

“Something needs to be done in South Africa when it comes to the youth academy. Thirteen of the 29 players who were in the squad last year that were promoted somewhere along the line came through from our academy.

“And the obvious ones being Clayton Daniels, Nazeer Allie and Granwald Scott were the older ones but they balance the other 10 from the academy.

“Young players like Chumani Butsaka (21) have played 63 games if not mistaken, then there’s Ashley Cupido (22) and he has played 83 first-team games, I mean it’s unheard of in South African football.

“They are talking about youngsters in their 24 and 25 but here we have youngsters who have experience.”

Kodwa was then given a tour of the clubs’ training facilities and later addressed the club’s academy players.

Efstathiou said the up-and-coming stars felt special having to interact with the minister.

“I can’t describe the feeling right now, we’ve been doing this for so many years we have never had a visit from a Sports Minister like this before. We had a Tourism Minister but not a sports one,” he said.

“To know that he took the time to visit and understand what we do and the importance of what we do for football in South Africa is immense.

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