After experiencing some ups and downs, Kaizen Football Academy managed to clinch the U/12 MTC HopSol Youth League title, and they are also favourites to win the U/19 Cup.
Coach James Britz said they started their 2023 campaign slowly and, as a result, struggled to get into gear to earn an opportunity to be in a position to fight for the final slot in the different age groups.
“The ability for the boys to show character to fight and develop individually and as a group during every stage was an amazing experience,” he said.
Britz feels that his boys made some improvements this year, as their ability, combined with physical and mental strength, was commendable throughout the season.
The football academy consists of U/11, U/12, U/15, U/17 and U/19, while they also play in the second division league.
Their strongest side this year was the U/12 group that managed to lift the HopSol trophy, including a few tournaments.
“We were also runners-up in a few finals and also got an individual award. Jaylan Britz was the top goal scorer with 23 goals, and the second top goal scorer also came from KFA in the HopSol league with 16 goals. Derwin Engelbrecht [from] our team managed to concede the second-least goals. The aim is to develop young players, and assist them in becoming better players and also better young men that our societies could embrace.
This process requires patience while we carefully harness their full potential and understanding to better assist their balance and growth. In this regard, our age groups are showing the correct development signs of growth physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically to make the next steps at the highest level.”
The U19 squad will be facing Ramblers soon to see who will take the top honours for the year, but Britz feels it will not be a walk in the park for them.
“Ramblers has a good record this season, ending top of the log, while we found it more difficult to reach the knockouts. However, our recent form gives us confidence that we can expect a very competitive match that hopefully we come up winning.”
As the exam season is currently underway, the team is finding it difficult to get proper training sessions in, as they have to balance the players’ schedules.
“It’s very difficult because we have not trained in a while due to exams, but it’s totally understandable. These boys have high aspirations, and we can only encourage them to believe in themselves, strive for higher goals and support them wholeheartedly. We wish they all did well, and we wish them all the success on and off the field,” he said.
Britz has also won some accolades, namely coach of the year for 2023 U/12, coach of the year 2022 U/17 and coach of the year U/11.
Next year, they will be downscaling the number of players per team to focus more on individual player performance.
His brother, George Zaah, heads the academy’s branch in Rosh Pinah, which includes one U/17 and U20 national team player from there.
“We would like to thank Mobi Pay for their sponsorship (Claus Deckenbrock). They really made a difference at Kaizen Football Academy. They are part of the reason why Kaizen produced so many regional, national and premier league players this season; we, as the Kaizen family, will always be grateful,” he concluded. -email@example.com