The Northern Cape News Network


Proponents Of Youth Development: SL Benfica's academy coaches Andre Ferreira and Joao Rosmaninho. Photo credit: Kagiso Mooki
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Kimberley, Sunday 10 December 2023,  – In what will be a first-ever for the Northern Cape, one of the world’s largest soccer clubs and arguably Portugal’s most decorated Primeira Liga outfit, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, will conduct a five-day camp in collaboration with the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association at the Sol Plaatje University’s sports grounds in Kimberley, starting tomorrow.

Kimberley and the Northern Cape at large have scored big. The Lisbon-based Benfica, fashions itself as a “player making machine,” bearing one of the world’s largest soccer academies. Its market value has been emboldened over many decades by legion of supporters across the world.

“Ours is to expose the kids, get them to learn and play the Benfica way. Because of the weather conditions, we will have the younger kids in the morning and the elites in the afternoon sessions over two days. We will also have our local coaches attending a coaching course. The purpose of this camp is to model our football alongside that of Benfica as player development and coaching cannot be separated.

“This is part of our Vision 2025, it is one of our pillars based on early-talent development and exchange programmes. We also want to avoid exporting players to Gauteng, and then Gauteng takes them abroad, now we having this type of an arrangement that is innovative,” enthused Collin Bosman, chairperson of the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association.

Speaking from the Kimberley Airport upon arrival from Portugal and flanked by two of Benfica’s youth coaches, Joao Delgado, a partner in Benfica’s International Department said the camp has been in the works for the past three months.

“We do believe from both sides that this is way beyond just the (staging) camp. This is a community engagement and an opportunity for the next five to ten years. We want to build a good relationship, have players that would play in Lisbon and have a technical partnership. The main project is to evaluate the raw talent, the quality that you have in Kimberley.

“Benfica is always looking around the world. We are working with amazing coaches who come here to focus on the Benfica ideology, which gives the youngsters something different from what they used to. The evaluation of each player is important and followed by what is possible for the future,” asserted Delgado.

By: Thabo Mothibi /

Proponents Of Youth Development: SL Benfica’s academy coaches Andre Ferreira and Joao Rosmaninho. Photo credit: Kagiso Mooki


Building Partnerships: Joao Delgado is SL Benfica’s International Department Partner. Photo credit: Kagiso Mooki


Sol Plaatje Local Football Association Strikes An International Connection: The association’s chairperson Collin Bosman and deputy chairperson Zebulon Ngoma were at hand to receive the SL Benfica delegation. Photo credit: Kagiso Mooki


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Thabo Mothibi is a former broadcast journalist (TV and Radio) – with specialist reporting experience; SABC Political/Parliamentary and TRC Teams over a period of five years (1995 to 2000).

One key foreign assignment - is the 11-nation African Connection Rally – overland journey from Africa’s northern-most pole in the coastal Tunisian city of Bizerte to the southern-most pole in South Africa’s Cape Agulhas. From the journalistic years, Thabo then delved into Government media liaison and serving two former Ministers and three MECs. He became the Northern Cape Provincial Government’s first department based Communications Director at Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development - 2008-2010 – where he also served as Head of Ministry from 2003 – 2008.

As a former anti-apartheid activist, his political background and professional training aided him in spearheading the Northern Cape ANC’s 2004 National Elections media and publicity campaign and that of the 2006 Local Government Elections.

Whilst based in Waterkloof in Pretoria -2010 to end 2011, he consulted for Manstrat Agricultural Intelligence, then returned to the Northern Cape in 2012 to date, to consult independently and pursue other entrepreneurial interests in media and communications through KwaVuko Communications and Marketing.

Thabo Mothibi obtained his NQF7 through Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) in Johannesburg, a Unilever Mandela Rhodes Academy for Marketing and Communications Academy (UMRA). The goal of the NQF7 programme was to educate and train public and private sector professional communicators and marketers in government communications..