7 Elite Academy SABA’s 04 Boys coached hundreds of youngsters and saw a number of Big Five game animals during a week-long tour of South Africa.
The team stayed at the Cheetah Ridge Lodge in the KwaZulu Natal region and worked with well over 200 players from local schools.
They also played a game against the prestigious Michael House School - the final SABA match for some 04 players, who will now leave for college. The group also included 7 Elite Academy UK players, Dylan Seddon and Lucas Allan.
During their daily game drives, players and staff observed four of the Big Five animals, including lion cubs and lions hunting - and feeding.
Anthony Godfrey, 7 Elite Academy Global Technical Director, said: “This tour was an opportunity for the SABA 04 players to gain invaluable experience of working in a new culture.
“Although they played a game against Michael House School, the main focus was developing their coaching abilities at a variety of skill levels.
“On the first day they coached 70 young people at Hamilton Prep School in Ladysmith, before working in groups with 180 players at nearby Bongela Combined School.
“I was really impressed with how well our players adjusted to coaching and helped the youngsters at each location to develop and improve their skills.
“Our stay at Cheetah Ridge was absolutely spectacular and we saw some Big Five animals in their natural, protected environments. It was a brilliant week for us all.”
The experience was part of a regular schedule followed by SABA teams, who get opportunities to play soccer and develop coaching skills in different cultures across the world.
“I am so proud of how our players have developed over the last few years with 7 Elite SABA,” Godfrey added.
“They have worked hard to develop their ambitions in all areas of life, but especially within soccer. Many of the players have a very good future in coaching.
“These sort of opportunities are open to players on 7 Elite Academy soccer programs, whether they are in the Untied States, United Kingdom or Africa.
“For the new season, we have prepared an exciting schedule of tournaments, college visits and tours that will maximise opportunities for college applications and preparation.”