Three KZN Football Academy teenagers sign for Vitória de Setúbal

Ignat Manjoo
The KZN Football Academy continues to produce young promising players, and three of their players will now ply their trade in Portugal

Three South African youngsters have signed for Portuguese side Vitória Futebol Clube from the KwaZulu Natal Football Academy.

Sphephelo Sithole will play for Vitória Futebol Clube’s under 23 side after making his move from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, while Philani Jaca and Nkanyiso Shinga will both feature for the U19 side after they both impressed the technical team during the KZN academy 2018 International Tour.

The 19-year-old Amajita midfielder, Sithole, played for Sporting Lisbon and got a taste of the Uefa Youth League during the 2017/18 season when he made his debut against Juventus.

He will probably make his debut for Vitoria Futebol Clube when they take on his former team Lisbon on Saturday.

The KZN Academy prides itself in producing future stars with opportunities and opening doors for them to shine.

The academy's U19 coach, Nini Vilakazi was pleased to hear the news of his three boys moving to Europe.

“We are excited and encouraged by the news. It is a positive indication for us that we are on the right track and it gives us the drive to work even harder to mould better players,” Vilakazi told the KZN Football Academy. 

Central defender Jaca, who is just 18 years old, joined the KZN Academy U19 earlier this year before making his move to Portugal.

The academy was impressed by his talent, determination, commitment and hard work since his arrival on trial.

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Shinge, also 18, is a defender that has represented the South African U17 national team, and he was part of the team that represented the country at the Cosafa U17 championships in Mauritius.

Coach Vilakazi, who led the academy during their Portugal Tour went on to say that they are all proud of the players and wished them the best of luck.

“We have no doubt that if they continue with the positive and never-say-die attitude they always displayed at the academy, their future is bright," concluded Vilakazi.