Funding has been granted to SAFA for the promotion and development of junior football. One of the big focuses is the promotion of the U13, U15, U17 and U19 junior leagues.
The league system is relatively well structured at senior club level, but the same cannot be said for junior leagues. Many Local Football associations do not have junior leagues highlighting the lack of junior teams at club level. The lack of girls’ teams is more evident. The funding is therefore directed to the installation of leagues for boys and girls in the above age categories to provide a structured pathway from the entry levels to senior competition.
The competition provides for leagues at Local Football Association level where players are selected to represent their respective regions at the inter-regional championship. Regional teams are then selected to play in the inter-provincial championship for selection of the regional teams, culminating in the national championships where the 9 provincial teams will meet.
The objective of these leagues is to create a bigger pool for talent identification in the various age groups. The scouts of the various Professional Clubs attend the provincial and regional championships to strengthen their own youth sections.
The second major focus area is funding for the preparation of the national youth teams.
The national youth team’s performances have been encouraging and their steady progress at international level has seen an increase in the activity of the National Youth teams in international qualification events. The grant ensured that SAFA arrange training camps for all the national youth teams and the participation at the various competitions.
This includes 75.5 million for the development of the youth leagues and R21.8 million for the qualification campaigns of the national youth teams.