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From humble beginnings to coaching the next generation

Football coach shares his inspiring story of overcoming challenges and finding success in the beautiful game.

Meet Samukelo Siza Nkosi (23) a part-time footballer for the Gauteng SAB League who has turned his passion into a career. Not only is he a player, he is also a coach at XP Arena Football in Fourways guiding his team to success.

Nkosi started playing football at the tender age of three. Surrounded by a family of football enthusiasts, he was destined to follow in their footsteps. “I started playing football from the day I could kick a ball. The males in my family are football fans, so all I ever knew was being outside with them playing.”

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Samukelo Nkosi, at three years old.
Samukelo Nkosi, at three years old.

Nkosi’s early years were spent playing for local club Bealuie Tigers before he joined Bellavista School’s football team in Grade 3. He went on to win every football award available at the school, cementing his reputation as a talented young player.

After completing primary school, Nkosi joined Highlands Park U13 and went on to play for the team until U19. His time at the club was a defining period in his life, shaping his skills and character. “ I was playing for one of the greatest clubs in the province for six years.

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“At the age of 17, I took a gamble which I still don’t believe my parents agreed to. I made a bold decision to leave school and pursue a football career overseas. For two years, I travelled to Poland, Rome, and the Czech Republic, playing for fourth and fifth-division teams so that I could create some sort of foundation.”

Although he didn’t secure a contract, the experience taught him valuable lessons about perseverance and resilience.

Samukelo Nkosi at nine years old.
Samukelo Nkosi at nine years old.

Upon returning to South Africa, Nkosi decided to complete his matric at the age of 21 and began coaching at XP Arena Football in Fourways. “As a coach, my primary focus is on the development of these young players, I’m still obsessed with the game and will always make time to play but my priority is always on my players’ growth and well-being.

“This is my third year in the SAB League and I can confidently say that if I wanted to progress and play for another team in a higher division I could and I would excel.”

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