SA youngster Dane Fortuin on trial at Sheffield United

Goal caught up with the 19-year-old left-footed player, who is hoping to get a professional contract with League One side Sheffield United
By Ernest Makhaya

The Stars of Africa Academy are set to unleash another sensational talent in Dane Fortuin, who is currently on trial with English side Sheffield United.

Fortuin has been training with the League One outfit for the past two weeks, and he told Goal how he got to be invited to England for trials.

"I played for Farouk Khan's Stars of Africa Football Academy, and my manager Lee Edwards and my father sent the video of one of my games to Sheffield United. They reviewed it and invited me here (in England)," Fortuin told Goal.

The 19-year-old Fortuin revealed that the technical team is really impressed with what they've seen in him, and that he'll now wait to hear if he will be offered a contract, but he's positive that he will soon get a deal in England.

"The feedback from Sheffield United has been positive. They are impressed with me, but I would still have to sit down with my dad to discuss what's best for me as a player then we will take it from there.

"I just want to be at the club where I would be playing regularly and at a competitive level and God's will it's going to be in England," he said.

The Melville-born fullback expressed his disappointment for not being offered a chance in his own country - South Africa - but he's ready to move on and start giving his best wherever he will be given the chance.

"I have never been on trial at any PSL team. I've come straight from the Academy to Sheffield. I'm still a bit disappointed about not been given a chance in my own country," Fortuin confessed.

Fortuin admitted that life hasn't been the same for the past two weeks while trying to adapt to his new surroundings, but thanked the rest of the Sheffield United team for supporting him.

"The past two weeks have been difficult for me. I mean the food is different and the teams here are very professional. In terms of facilities, you can't compare them to South Africa, but football wise I feel that I can compete here.

"It's a step in the right direction. I think as an attacking full-back I bring something different to the team, and the players and the coaching staff have helped me to adapt," he concluded.

The Academy has produced several talented players who have already made their mark in the country and outside the SA borders. Oupa Manyisa, Tokelo Rantie, May Mahlangu and Simphiwe Mtsweni are among the players that came out of this respected SA football institution.