Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Jody February has shared some encouraging words for those set to partake in the 2017 Strandfontein AFC Under-13 Tournament.
The famous youth tourney, now in its 18th year of existence, has played host to several future Absa Premiership, NFD and ABC Motsepe stars – including February who represented Ajax Cape Town on two occasions, having impressed for Strandfontein before his move to Ikamva as an 11-year-old.
February, now 20, rose through the Urban Warriors ranks; eventually winning promotion to the First Team as an 18-year-old.
The South Africa youth international, who was part of the Olympic team in Brazil last year, had the following to say about the Strandfontein tournament:
“To the younger boys, I’d just like to say, give it your all, you never know what can happen,” said February.
“The year before I played Under-13 I was scouted by Ajax Cape Town, I wasn’t playing for Strandfontein at the time, but yes, there are a lot of scouts at these tournaments – lots of good teams; Ajax Cape Town, Old Mutual…
“There will be coaches on the lookout, it is a good place to market yourself from a young age already.
“I won the tournament with Ajax Cape Town, that was my first year, and in the second year we lost in the quarterfinals I think. But, for me it is a good initiative by Strandfontein to continue with this tournament.
February continued: “It has been 18 years…I am 21 this year! It has been going on for very long and there is a reason Ajax Cape Town partake in the tournament every year, it is good, well run tournament. Great competition and you play against the best at that age level.
“It is really good for the younger boys to get a run and you just never know what can happen in your future.
Moreover, February encouraged those eager to follow in his footsteps, to continue working hard and not to let anyone or anything detour you from the path you set out to reach your dream.
“My advise: stay on the right path, don’t let people influence you to do the wrong things, set your goals and work towards your goals,” February added. “Nothing comes easy and it wasn’t easy to get where I am now.
“I am 20 and playing in the PSL, not a lot of goalkeepers can say that so it wasn’t easy. I came into the First Team at 18 as fourth choice , and I worked my way up. I am just trying to keep my place here, such tournaments can help because you get the proper development at a young age, what to do and what not to do.
“Everything is run professionally at Ajax Cape Town, but you yourself can be disciplined. You must just have the proper mindset and work hard,” he concluded.
The 2017 edition of the Strandfontein Tournament kicks-off this Saturday at Ikamva – in Parow – at 10:00am.