BY: Athenkosi Tsotsi.

As the DStv Diski Challenge continues to find its purpose within the structures of SA football, it’s a league that’s very topical in football circles in terms of what it brings to the table.

Despite rumblings that the DDC may have lost its relevance, with Safa technical director Walter Steenbok slating it as pointless last month, sponsors MultiChoice say they are reasonably satisfied with the progress and the role the league plays in the development of football in the country.

The Diski Challenge concluded its season on the weekend with SuperSport United being crowned the champions.This season also saw graduates from the league make their mark in the Premiership.

According to MultiChoice’s CSI manager for sports programmes, Sandile Luthuli, this season has been a success as they have ticked many of their objectives, the main being the promotion of 23 players to the first team.

“Every box has been ticked for us in our objectives. From a sponsorship side, from the objectives and highlights of the season, it has been a very successful season. We are more than happy,” Luthuli told Sowetan yesterday.

“The main primary objective is ensuring that we create a developmental platform for SA’s academy players for them to have a quicker transition from academy football to professional football.

“So, what we have recorded for the season, we have 23 players to date who have been promoted to the first team. We measure our objectives on seeing young boys moving up the ranks. From this season, you’re looking at the likes of Samkelo Zwane, Thapelo Maseko and the Stellenbosch side which played last year and played in the Next Gen Cup, seven players who won it are regulars in the first team, four or five are starters and others impact players. So, that’s what we look at.

“It was Richards Bay’’s first season. They had to go on a drive looking for players and had trials where they are based to create a team for iDiski and within eight months they were able to promote two players,” Luthuli said.


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