Following the recent success by the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s, the next crop of youngsters gathered at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Powerade Centre of Excellence in Pretoria for the National under-17 Talent Acceleration Programme (TAP). The camp kicked off on Thursday, 2 August and focused on improving the core skills of the players before concluding on Sunday, 5 August.
On the back of various regional camps around the country, provincial scouts together with the CSA High-Performance team identified a squad of 26 players to take part in the camp, including newly-capped SA U19s batsman Jonathan Bird from. 17-year old Bird was crowned Player of the Series during the Junior Proteas’ victorious One-Day International series against England.
"The camp will be used as the starting point ahead of the under-19s tour to India in January next year and the anticipated ICC U19 Cricket World Cup that will be hosted in South Africa in 2020. With the players at the camp eligible for selection for the two upcoming squads, they will be hoping to put their hands up and leave an impression on the coaching staff."
“It’s the start of the journey. We’ve had regional camps throughout July that have been held around the country and these are some of the young men that have impressed.” SA U19 Head Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane commented.
Upon arrival, the promising cricketers were briefed on the camp’s outlines before being put through their paces in a strenuous fitness test. On the morning of day two, the players were taken through a Time Management lecture delivered by Johan Muller, Cricket Operations Manager at the Northerns Cricket Union, after which they headed out for a nets and fielding session.
“After the first nets session, I have been impressed with the quality I have seen,” he continued.
"This camp is a skills-based camp. We are helping the boys with the skills. The scouts have done a great job in helping. One aims of the things with the PPPs (Player Performance Plan) and PDPs (Personal Development Plan) is to make sure that we are all aligned from the national body all the way to the scouts, the franchises and the coaches. We want to make sure we are sending the same message to the players and hopefully, we can help them achieve the goals that they wish to achieve in cricket.” Mahatlane added.
“Our national tournaments like the CSA U17 Momentum Week and Coca-Cola Khaya Majola U19s Week play crucial roles in helping to identify the next generation of cricketers. After that, we’ve got Cubs Week that will be franchised-based. With India coming up next year, that is where the identification and selection process will take place and it is important we send the right messages from now on.
Hopefully, for the next couple of months, these young men can take the message and keep improving.” Mahatlane concluded.
The details of the India tour in 2019 will be released in due time.
U17 TAP Camp 2018 Squad
Khaya Cotani (Boland), Ruan Terblance (Boland), Lilitha Reed (Border), Nonelela Yika (Border), Neo Felane (Easterns) Khaya Nyamethe (Easterns), Luke Beaufort (Eastern Province), Siyathemba Mdlankomo (Eastern Province), Tiaan Van Vuuren (Eastern Province), Arend Visser (Eastern Province), Ruan Cronje (Free State), Pheko Moletsane (Free State), Jack Lees (Gauteng), Connor Esterhuizen (Gauteng), Bryce Parsons (Gauteng), Clayton Pather (Gauteng), Heinrigh Pieterse (Gauteng), Lita Ntanzi (KwaZulu Natal), Jacques Vosloo (Mphumalanga), Karabelo Matlawe (North West), Odirile Modimokoane (North West), Phemelo Sepati (North West), Paballo Sibande (North West), Mushwana Wisani (Northerns), Jonathan Bird (Western Province), Jordan Woolf (Western Province)