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Kaizer Chiefs remove two players from DDC to fully focus on first team

20:23 SAST 2023/01/02
Mduduzi Shabalala, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2022
Kaizer Chiefs head of technical and youth development academy Molefi Ntseki has shared a review of their 2022 development programme.
  • Coach Zwane has been showing trust in reserve team players
  • Three players have been promoted to the first team
  • More could be promoted this January

WHAT HAPPENED? The former Bafana Bafana coach has revealed Mduduzi Shabalala and Wandile Duba will no longer be playing for their DStv Diski Challenge team and will fully focus on first-team duties. Shabalala was promoted to the first team last season but was still playing for their reserve side. Midfielder Duba made his top-flight league debut last Saturday against Golden Arrows.

Another development player, Samkelo Zwane, will train with the senior side but will still play in the DDC. Zwane is in his debut PSL season and made his first start against Arrows.

WHAT NTSEKI SAID: “Because of the quality that was assembled for the Engen competition and the DDC, we saw three of our reserve team players getting promoted to the first team, Mduduzi Shabalala, Samkelo Zwane and Wandile Duba,” Ntseki told Chiefs’ media.

“From 1 December they started training full-time with the first team squad, because before that Mdu and Duba were still at school and writing exams. Samkelo will train with the first team but still play for the DDC team.

“We are very happy to see our development players progressing to the first team because players these days are very expensive so it’s good to develop players that understand the culture and tradition of the Club.

“We give credit to all the development coaches who contributed to the progress of these players, but also commend the first team coach for his understanding of the development of players at our academy. After proper profiling and assessment coach Zwane identified these three players for promotion to his squad.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since being appointed as Chiefs head coach, Arthur Zwane has stressed the need to use more players who have come through the club’s development structures.

Nine out of the 20 players who were part of the matchday squad against Arrows came through the club's academy ranks. They are captain Itumeleng Khune, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma, defender Siyabonga Ngezana, Sabelo Radebe, Duba, Shabalala, Zitha Kwinika and Zwane.


WHAT NEXT FOR SHABALALA, DUBA & ZWANE? After taking part in the Arrows match, the three young players will now be pushing to earn more game time going forward amid stiff competition for places.