Former Danone teen hits the limelight with Amajita

A 19-year-old player scored a hat-trick for the SA U20 soccer team at the Confederation African Football (Caf) U20 African Cup of Nations (Afcon U20) in the national team’s 3–1 win over Cameroon.

This earned him the Man of the Match award. That youngster is Luther Singh and is the name on the lips of all South African soccer fans.

Luther was also the top goalscorer for Amajita at the Confederation of Southern African Football Association Cup U20 tournament last year and currently plays club soccer for SC Braga in the Portuguese league.

Singh’s story is one of being noticed at the right time and being given opportunities to show his ability, and all this began at the Danone Nations Cup.

Singh joined Farouk Khan’s Stars of Africa Academy at the age of 11. He stayed at the boarding house of the academy and attended Bree Primary School.

Read: Venda leader praises Danone boys

“It was tough for Luther,” Khan said. “The other players in the hostel were all older, between the ages of 14 and 16, but he did not let this get him down. He was eager, determined and learnt very quickly.”

In 2009, Bree principal, Dave Kalicharan entered the school into the U12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament where the school emerged as national champions.

The world finals were played in 2010 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto and Bree emerged victorious, beating a team from Switzerland 2–0 in the final match to bring home the trophy.

Singh played a major part in Bree’s success that year.

“The tournament played a big part in his early development; he was able to show what he was capable of in an international environment,” said Khan. “He rose to the occasion. Too many good players buckle under such pressure and give up. Not Luther, he thrived on the opportunity and went all out to show his best side, and his drive to win. I then knew he would go far one day.”

Khan added that a bright future lay ahead of Singh. “He is only 19,” Khan cautioned. “He’s doing well, but we mustn’t put too much pressure on him. He has to remain grounded and focus on growing as a player.”

Send your messages of support to Luther Singh. WhatsApp us on 079 439 5345.

Sipho Siso

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