Wednesday July 8 2009
PICTURE: DUNCAN VAN NIEKERK
■ Old Mutual Academy’s Keeno Shellar in action during a Mr Price fixture in Mitchell’s Plain.
Opportunity knocks as Old Mutual player signs with Supersport United JOHN ADAMS Old Mutual Academy’s Keeno Shellar could bring unprecedented success to the national team in future. That is according to his high school soccer coach, Dawood Tregonning. Shellar has turned heads and denied opponents access to goal since he was a little boy. When he’s not turning out for the Academy’s under-19 squad, Sheller stars for Beacon Hill High, who are second on the Mr Price senior schools log. In 2008, he was Old Mutual Academy’s Vodacom league player of the year. Now he has taken another step in the maturation process and signed a contract with PSL outfit Super Sport.
“I want to take my soccer as far as possible. I’m going to have to train hard to get there and I am prepared to work for my goal,” said Shellar. Coaches who have had the opportunity to train the young star have marvelled at his abilities, leadership and work ethic. “He is very quiet off the field, but on the field he is a different person,” said Neil Pain, who coached him for the past three years in the Vodacom league. “When he talks, the other players listen because they know it is going to be beneficial. He is outstanding in class and on the field. He is magnificent academically and is well-disciplined,” Tregonning added.
Despite the accolades, Shellar remains well-grounded and very close to his family. With the confidence and excitement of a new adventure knocking at his door, Keeno is still listening to the instructions of his coaches and his parents’ advice. “He will just need the right guidance. When youngsters leave Cape Town, especially to go to Johannesburg, they struggle because it is tough out there. But I think he could go all the way because on just football abilities, he has all the credentials, said Pain. The highest praise for Shellar came from Tregonning. “If we want to make Bafana Bafana a success, then they need Keeno on the team,” he said
PICTURE: COLIN BROWN
■ Killarney race track was a hub of action on Saturday when Ismail Patel got it wrong through the Malmesbury sweep.