Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
2 minute read
22 Mar 2018
10:30 am

Pirates legend wants youngsters to be given a chance

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Former Orlando Pirates, Ajax Cape Town and Santos goalkeeper Innocent Mayoyo says Absa Premiership sides should promote players from within their development structures if they want more players who are prepared to die for the badge.

Innocent Mayoyo with younsgters (Photo by Gallo Images)

“If you look at goalkeepers like Senzo Meyiwa and Itumeleng Khune, they were keepers that grew up within Pirates and Chiefs structures. They learn the culture from a young age. They grew up under the badge and they understand what it means, that’s what makes them different from the ones who were bought by the club. And the teams should also get youth coaches that grew up at the clubs so they can teach the culture of the club to the players. There needs to be continuity, Rowen Fernandez used to distribute the ball the same way as (Itumeleng) Khune, these things are taught,” said Mayoyo who was signed by Pirates at the age of 20.

Mayoyo runs an academy called Ayobayo Youth Soccer Academy that was established back in 2008. He is the technical director and also the president of the KwaThema sports confederation, which is based in Springs.

The academy caters for boys from Under-11 to Under-17 as well as a club that plays in the SAB League in the Ekurhuleni region called the Ace Auto Ayoba Soccer Academy. The name of the team comes from the former goalkeeper’s nickname Ayobayo, a chant made popular by reggae legend Lucky Dube and his long- standing sponsor Ace Auto Scrapyard.

Keeping with business, Mayoyo founded Innocent Mayoyo consulting and projects.

“When I am not doing football stuff, I run development programmes, team-building activities for companies, development programmes and do motivational speaking. I view myself as a community builder. I also conduct coaching clinics in Ekurhuleni and other municipalities.”

Mayoyo is a qualified goalkeeping coach who imparts his knowledge and experience to Safa educational courses for coaches. Ayobayo believes he has a part to play in Safa’s vision 2020, aimed at educating coaches from grassroots and developing young players that could some day play for the national team.

The goalkeeper is not happy with the work done by Stuart Baxter in preparing the team for important qualification games. Mayoyo says he needs to focus more on building camaraderie in the national team.

“I can’t say a lot about the national team. The first thing we need there is to make sure these players spend more time together. They only play together when they are called up. When do they get a chance to understand each other? They need to have a programme that will help them work together.

“Baxter needs to do more than watch them play in league games. We need to have a core of the team playing together, spending time together so that they understand each other. These are the players that will know the culture of the team and the philosophy of the national team, that is how we can succeed.”