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Young Karelse rewarded for efforts

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Northern Cape player called up to Under-17 preliminary squad after scooping top awards at Provincial tournament

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Jerome Karelse (16) from De Aar’s Orion High school, was crowned as “Top Goalscorer and Player of the Tournament” of the Northern Cape Youth Solar Cup recently. But that’s not where his upward trajectory ends, the young player has also now been called up to the preliminary national squad’s 2018 Cosafa Cup camp.

Karelse will now form part of national Under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki’s preliminary squad of 32 players as they prepare for the tournament that is scheduled to take place in Mauritius from July 19-29.

Event organiser of the Solar Cup, Willie Motlogelwa hinted that with this call-up one of the tournament’s goals – shining the spotlight on young talent in the Province – had been achieved.

“We are proud that Karelse has been included in the national Under-17 provisional squad of 32 players,” said Motlogelwa.

Karelse was discovered by Safa team scouts during the non-league tournament with preliminary rounds played in Kathu before the finals kicked off at the Galeshewe Stadium in June.

“The coaches Molefi Ntseki, Phelani Khubeka of Orlando Pirates and Arthur Zwane of Kaizer Chiefs development saw a number of players, but narrowed it down to three,” added Motlogelwa.

“Only coach Ntseki has made his choice thus far. We still await word from the other coaches. The boy (Karelse) is talented. He has similar characteristics as Tendai Ndoro, the Ajax Cape Town player. We have high hopes about him (Karelse).

“I personally am excited to see that our tournament is bearing fruit within a such short space of time. We took 26 LFAs from all
over the Northern Cape and they gave us 198 teams out of which we had about 3 564 players who actively took part in the tournament,” he said.

The Solar Youth Cup tournament is sponsored by solar company REISA which operates in the Kathu area. Other co-sponsors include corporates Kathu Solar, EDS, Lesedi Power Project, Sishen Solar Facility, La Liga, Logo Sports SA in association with Safa and the Northern Cape department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

Coach Ntseki is reported to be keen on trimming the squad down to 20 players before they jet off to the Indian Ocean island on July 15.

The national Under-17s commonly known as the “Amajimbos” will play their first game of the Cosafa tournament against Lesotho on Friday July 20.

This will be followed by a fixture against Mozambique two days later on Sunday July 22. Both matches will be played at the Auguste Vollaire stadium in Flacq, Mauritius.

A Safa communique said for the final group stages of the Cosafa tournament the South Africans will travel to the capital Port Louis to play Zambia on Tuesday July 24 at St Francois Xavier Stadium.