After months of training and preparation, the 2015 Nedbank Ke Yona Team was finally unveiled on Tuesday, 11 August at the Nedbank Headquarters in Johannesburg.image

The final 18-member squad to take on the current Nedbank Cup Champions was handpicked amongst thousands of aspiring footballers between the ages of 18 and 25 by the experienced quartet of Shakes Mashaba, Owen Da Gama, Khabo Zondo and Mike Mangena.

The 2015 edition of South Africa’s largest football talent search attracted more than 40 000 total entries and got underway earlier this year in Mpumalanga, Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Each province saw aspiring footballers putting up their best performances that gave the four Ke Yona selectors tough selection choices. From the six provinces, a total of 48 players were selected and invited to an intense bootcamp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria where they were trained and conditioned by the best sports scientists while working closely with the four Ke Yona coaches.

Not only did the boys experience high quality training methods but Nedbank also provided financial education to the players that will assist them in making sound financial decisions in their professional football careers.

With the Ke Yona Team search currently in its third edition, it has proven to be a life changing initiative for many aspiring footballers who have since gone on to make their football dreams happen thanks to Nedbank. Players such as Sydney Masana (Free State Stars), Maphosa Modiba (Mpumalanga Black Aces & SA U20) and Khanya Gwala (Orlando Pirates) are some of the examples of how Nedbank continues to make a meaningful difference in the various communities that it serves.

Speaking at the team reveal, Nedbank’s Group Executive for Marketing, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Thulani Sibeko wished the selected squad the best of luck as they enter into a new phase of their journey to becoming professional footballers.

“We are proud to make the things that really matter happen for these young men who have taken one step closer of playing professional football. As a bank for all, we pride ourselves by enabling people from all walks of life to change their lives for the better and making something of themselves.

Full squad:

Name Surname Province Trialed at Position Jersey # Age
Bonginkosi Shangase KZN Striker 40 25
Phakamani Mtolo KZN Defender (LB) 14 23
Thabani Mbhedu KZN C/Defender 7 25
Quade Roskruge KZN Defender 16 23
S’mamiso Gumede KZN Striker 48 25
Ntokozo Adams MP Striker 37 24
Nkosinathi Malubane MP Goalkeeper 49 23
Thabo Meko FS C/Defender 5 24
Jarred Meyer FS Defender 8 23
Ricardo Versuur FS Defender 18 24
Mthetho Manyati FS Midfielder 23 24
Katlego Mojela Gauteng C/Defender 11 23
Happy Mahlako Gauteng C/Defender 12 20
Juzeya Rampheng Gauteng Goalkeeper 45 22
Dean Jones WC Defender 15 21
Itumeleng Mogotsi Gauteng Midfielder 21 25
Ian Chikohwa Gauteng Striker 43 20
Thamsanqa Gwabeni EC Defender 20 21