AT THE beginning of the month 17 football hopefuls were drafted into the 16 Absa Premiership teams after a successful Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search.

They were selected from the 18-man squad that lost 1-0 to Nedbank Cup champs SuperSport United early last month.

These players have a month to impress their respective teams in the hopes of securing a permanent contract.

Striker Cameron Chweu, who was drafted into Platinum Stars, and Thulani Jele of Ajax Cape Town told SunSport they received a warm welcome when they arrived last week and felt up for the challenge as they wanted to play more top flight football in the future.

Last season Ian Chikohwa (University of Pretoria), Jarred Meyer (Jomo Cosmos) and Thamsanqa Gwabeni (Stars) were given contracts after their one-month trial with the clubs.

Chweu says last season’s graduate Gwabeni has been helping him adapt.

He said: “Gwabeni, who was signed by Stars last year, told me expectations would be high and said I must give my best.

“This is my opportunity to shine. I must make sure I make my mark, as the plan is to get a permanent deal. I’ve been training with the MDC team, but they told me I would be joining the first team next Monday.”

Jele says he is confident of winning a contract with Ajax.

“Working hard will always be key. I’m confident that if I continue this way the club will give me a contract.

“Last Tuesday we played a friendly and I was in the starting XI. My teammates are very supportive. They told me to not be afraid of making mistakes because we learn through them,” said the 20-year-old centre-back.


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