DURBAN – The MultiChoice Diski Challenge is in its fifth edition this season, and over the years it has proven to be one of the breeding ground for upcoming stars. The intensity of top-flight football continues to rise by the day, however, the reserves has also raised the bar in terms of promoting players. We look at three MDC graduates who have taken the 2018/2019 PSL season by storm.
Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya - Kaizer Chief
The 21-year-old plays in a team that’s chasing their maiden silverware in three seasons, hence he has to be at his best in the left-back role. It may be too early to say, but the fact that Chiefs decided to offload Tsepo Masilela and Sibusiso Khumalo just shows how much faith they have in Ntiya-Ntiya.
However, he has competition from experienced campaigners Philani Zulu and Godfrey Walusimbi. What makes him a marvel to watch in Amakhosi’s higher division is that his fellow academy teammates such as Wiseman Meyiwa and Khotso Malepe have since been deployed to the reserves - thus showing how important he is in the team.
Yusuf Jappie - Free State Stars
On a season-long loan deal from Golden Arrows, Jappie has been a prominent figure for Stars this season. Coach Luc Eymael has shown faith in the 23-year-old winger, which just shows how much work he puts in. It is now up to Jappie to ensure he is a force to be reckoned with.
And should he deliver for Stars, he’ll most likely be rewarded by parent-club coach Clinton Larsen, as he’s previously done with the likes of Siboniso Conco and Siphamandla Sabelo.
Keletso Makgalwa - Maritzburg United
Makgalwa is reaping the fruit of impressive outings with Sundowns’ reserve team two seasons ago. He’s weight-loss has allowed him the freedom to take on defenders with his tricky feet and pace upfront, while he’s also entrusted by coach Fadlu Davids to be their set-piece specialist.
Together with Yannick Zakri and and Andrea Fileccia, the trio will be one of the deadliest attacks when they finally click.