Gone But Not Forgotten; The Scintillating Simphiwe Boy-Boy Mosia

BoyBoyboyboy-ohl

#TheGrandStandView

“Our talents are the gift that God gives to us, what we make of our talents is our gift back to God.” – Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia

Sombreness overcame me when I heard of the untimely demise of Simphiwe Mosia, a gifted man that many of us came to know by his second given name, Boy-Boy. Blessed with the technical skills that typify the quintessential Mzansi footballer, Boy-Boy was one of those once in a generation players who seemed to have been sent by the Angels from God. It pains me how his football career seemed to never reach the lofty peaks that his abilities merited, and that’s saying a lot, when you realise that Boy-Boy had a football career & life that many young South Africans grow up dreaming of turning into a reality. Boy-Boy Mosia left us 22 days after to his 31st birthday in Hammarsdale, Kwa-Zulu Natal on July 23rd, 2016. A large portion of his life was spent bringing joy to ticket buying supporters on the field, a place where his talents made him stand head and shoulders above his peers, and defy his diminutive stature through his sheer presence on the ball. Therein is the beauty in his life, Boy-Boy lived, he lived a life that many a South African lad dreams of, and his journey is one we should all garner teachable moments from.

The Rise

As a 14 year old prodigy, Boy-Boy was scouted by Serie A giants Juventus Football Club, and invited over to spend time with their development side; spending a year as a Juve apprentice, the young Boy-Boy developed his game further and begun a relationship with European football that would have many more chapters in the years to come. Returning home to sign for AmaZulu’s youth side, Boy-Boy continued his development at a steady rate, and begun to build upon his reputation as one of the best young players in the country. Boy-Boy’s status as one of the nation’s premier talents was confirmed when he was scouted for and enrolled in, the Transnet/SAFA School of Excellence, where the dribbling wizard joined a group of players that were being groomed to become future professionals, and hopefully even lead the national teams to success.

Playing in an environment catering to the nurturing of talented teenage lads into professional footballers, Boy-Boy excelled at the School of Excellence, and his great rise to prominence was also rewarded with recognition at junior youth level, getting called-up to the South Africa u/20 squad for the 2003 u/20 Cosafa Cup as an 18 year old. South Africa finished 3rd in the tournament, hosted on home soil, and Boy-Boy impressed with his playmaking abilities and improving finishing nous. The journey took another turn when Boy-Boy impressed Chelsea scouts while on tour with the School of Excellence squad in Ireland, The Blues signed Boy-Boy, along with fellow SoE graduates, the late, Pule Jeffery Ntuka & Masilo Michael Modubi. The three South African would spend some time training with the Chelsea reserve side during the off-season, while being loaned out long-term to feeder club K.V.C. Westerlo, in the hopes that they would gain experience and international caps to qualify for work permits and play for Chelsea, or gain Belgian citizenship, which would allow them to be registered as EU citizens.

The Star

The diminutive Boy-Boy found it harder to acclimatise to Belgian football due to his frame and style of play, while Jeffery and Masilo overcame their initial obstacles and begun to progress in their development at a good rate, Mosia begun to regress due to a lack of regular game time. Chelsea intervened in January of 2006, sending him to K.F.C. Dessel Sport in the hopes of getting him more first team exposure; three seasons had passed by and Boy-Boy had still not fully found his feet in Europe, yet the faith remained, albeit from the side of the player and not his parent club in London. Chelsea looked to afford Boy-Boy with the best possible platform to become a professional footballer in Europe, allowing him to transfer on a free to Oud-Heverlee Leuven at the start of the 2006/07 season.

Finding a new lease on life in the Belgian 2nd tier, Boy-Boy became a terrace favourite for Oud-Heverlee Leuven, whose fans came to admire the diminutive playmaker that could play anywhere across the midfield, and still find ways to punish opponents while entertaining the fans. Boy-Boy enjoyed the best years of his professional career in the 3 seasons he spent as a Oud-Heverlee Leuven player, a time that is also fondly remembered by the fans of the club who we fortunate enough to witness some of his best displays as a professional. At 23 years old, Boy-Boy returned home to South Africa with a resume that many players retire never boasting, and it was hurtful to see our local clubs fail to give him the opportunities and support he needed to prolong his career and truly fulfil his potential. A somewhat promising spell with Mpumalanga Black Aces, in the 2008-09 season, was mutually terminated early when Boy-Boy felt aggrieved with issues within the club management, that curtailed homecoming was the last we saw of the gifted playmaker as a professional footballer.

The Legend

If you had to look at what the average South African footballer today has accomplished at 24, flashy cars, social media followers, and a cap or two will be all they have to show for their God given abilities, in an age where we have the scope to do and achieve so much more due to the progress made in the past, by folks like Boy-Boy. When I speak of what Boy-Boy Mosia accomplished when he left the game at 24, I am amazed at his resilience and determination to persevere in a foreign country at such a young age. The same determination Boy-Boy showed when taking on opponents, he showed when the door was shut on his Chelsea dream when he reached 21; at a crossroads where, the few South African lads that dare to go abroad, often find themselves, Boy-Boy chose to bank on his abilities and made a career for himself in Europe when the odds seemed to continually stack against him.

The generation of players that Boy-Boy came from was a highly talented, and somewhat highly troubled one too; our nations socio-economic factors compiled to make lasting success largley unattainable for many gifted players that were born in the 1980’s, South African football will forever wear those scars, and ask itself what might have happened had they been nurtured in a different time. Boy-Boy never played for Bafana Bafana, which compiles the hurt of all the potential we have lost as a nation over the years even more, yet the former South African u/20 & u/23 international will go down as one of our most gifted exports since readmission.

One of the highlights of Boy-Boy’s career was winning with his nation, 3rd place at the 2003 u/20 Cosafa Cup & a Gold medal at the 2004 edition saw him play alongside, and against, players that will go down in the history pages of South African and Southern African football history; the 2003 & 2004 editions of the u/20 Cosafa Cup featured players like Elrio van Heerden, Nhlanhla Shabalala, Graham (Salmaan) King, Lerato Chabangu, Robyn Johannes, Lebohang Mokoena, Daine Klate, Junior Khanye, Felix Katongo, Clifford Mulenga, Jospeh Kamwendo, Jimmy Zakazaka, Rainford Kalaba, Dominic Yobe, Kingston Nkhatha, Davies Nkausu & Lima.

Boy-Boy Mosia

Bio

Full Name: Simphiwe Boy-Boy Mosia

DoB: July 1st, 1985

PoB: Pretoria, Gauteng; South Africa

DoD: July 23rd, 2016 (31)

PoD: Hammarsdale, Kwa-Zulu Natal; South Africa

Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Winger, Trequartista (Left/Right/Centre)

Height: 1, 55m

Preferred Foot: Either

Caps & Goals: N/A | South African u/20 & u/23 International

Former Club/s: MG Stars (1994-1999) | Juventus F.C. (1999-2000) | AmaZulu F.C. (2001-2002) | Transnet/SAFA School of Excellence (2001-2003) | Ajax Cape Town F.C. (2001-2002, Loan) | Orlando Pirates F.C. (2002-2003, Loan) | Chelsea F.C. (2003-2006) | K.V.C. Westerlo (2003-2004, Loan) | K.F.C. Dessel Sport (2004-2006, Loan) | Oud-Heverlee Leuven (2006-2008) | Mpumalanga Black Aces (2008-2009)

GSV HotList; The Twinkle-Toed Percy Tau

Started From The Bottom | Percy Tau
Started From The Bottom | Percy Tau
A National Hero In The Making | Percy Tau
A National Hero In The Making | Percy Tau

At GSV, we take the self allotted duty of enlightening our readers on all matters sports related very seriously, especially when it comes to informing the fraternity as a whole about the stars of the future that are on the rise as well as those that are already making a splash in the fraternity at a tender young age; we are proud to present to you the GSV Hot List, the most authoritative young African talent index in the entire football realm. The GSV Hot List is our selection of the best u/23 footballers in their positions, ranking the lads against their competitors and giving you some information on the player; we aim to ensure that you remain entertained, informed and enlightened while growing your knowledge base. This is the Mzansi football edition of the GSV Hot List, we will provide you with the quintessential player index of all the premier youth Mzansi football talent in the fraternity; the GSV Hot List is your one stop shop to all your Mzansi stars of the future.

#GSVHotList

Percy Tau

Bio

DoB: May 13th, 1994

PoB: Witbank, Mpumalanga

Caps & Goals: N/A (SA u/20 International)

Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Winger, Inside Forward, Trequartista

Preferred Foot: Left

Club: Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.

Club Jersey No: #35

Career Club Appearances & Goals: 7 Games, 1 Goal

Development Academy/s: Transnet/SAFA School Of Excellence, Clapham High School

Market Value: R 325 000

GSV Potential Indicator: Gift Leremi (4/5)

The Talent Scout Report: (Positional)

The stature, gait and bravado of the young Witbank born lad will have you catching flashbacks of a young Benedict “Tso” Vilakazi entering his prime as a footballer, Percy Tau is a natural star in “winning time”; born with the technical and creative gifts to take a football and make His creator smile while amazing and astonishing all and sundry in the football realm with his God given abilities. Very few Trequartista’s in Mzansi still embody that essence of the crowd pleasing entertainer who gives the spectators value for money regardless of the result, showboating or over elaboration I think they call it in some circles was the reason fans came out in their hordes to watch local football; flair players like Percy Tau are a dying breed in our elite division, it’s that added Mzansi flair and willingness to entertain first that puts Percy head and shoulders above many of his peers, “Tso-Monyane” is a lad that still bleeds the true culture of Mzansi Diski.

Much like the Little Napoleon, Percy is still far from the finished article as a young footballer and his age means that he needs to be playing more competitive first team football next season if he is to truly develop into the player his potential dictates that he could be; Tau is the future of Mzansi diski as he is the type of player that can inspire us to return to our roots at the elite level and seek to play our local bred entertainers while developing them to excel at the international level. The future promises to be a bright one for a young lad that plays great Mzansi diski and is signed to a club with a proud history of playing some of the best football on the continent; the match between club and player seemed like a dream marriage from the offset and I for one pray that both parties end up on the winning side of this perfect pairing.

No Golden Standard; The Need For Improvements At SOE

SAFA School Of Excellence
SAFA School Of Excellence
SAFA School Of Excellence
SAFA School Of Excellence

The purpose of a national football academy is to develop the best young players in the country both mentally and physically while allowing the youngsters to hone their skills in an educational environment that allows for growth and success. A national football academy is also supposed to set the benchmark for all the other developmental sides in the country to follow; from player developmental focus to specialised coaching methods and tactical approach as well as setting the benchmark for producing well rounded student athletes.

The SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence has come up short in many regards as far as the South African football community is concerned, the lack of a thoroughly outlined and researched plan for developing players has made it even harder for the institution to build on its once thriving reputation; this lack of growth has made it even harder for other developmental sides in the fraternity to sustainably focus on developing the players for the betterment of Mzansi Diski. The apparent mismanagement and lack of follow-through in the running of the school has led to a major problem within Mzansi diski due to the poor standards set, by what should be the premier football development institution; any development strategy without an elite performance plan and follow-through in this day and age is like passing water in the wind, the premier football academy in the land should always set the benchmark or seek to surpass it if we are to develop the best possible talent for our fraternity.  The failure to set a benchmark for football development countrywide is a sore thumb for the establishment; as far as development is concerned, the school has failed to establish a culture of growth and learning and that has filtered down to many other development teams in our country, young footballers are not taught how to develop to become elite level performers and that lack of mental coaching has manifested itself into a mental blockage that attacked our national team in pivotal times.

The root of all this seems to lie within the reality that our nation has still failed to establish its own football identity; while the football culture is growing at a good rate the football identity of the nation seems non-existent, a purposeful return to playing with two forwards up top and possibly switching to a diamond midfield across all age groups and even at club level could see us returning closer to that interplay and direct running in the channels type of Diski we lost so many years ago. This current lack of identity within our Diski fraternity makes it harder to develop young players as development coaches have no blueprint for the players role in the future; many young South Africans grow up being developed to play the 4-4-2 formation only to be asked to play a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 at first team level and it’s not rare for us to later find out that many unable to make use of the extra player in midfield, much to the detriment of the whole team. We need to decide on a way of playing that allows our natural strengths to come to the fore while minimising our weaknesses to the point of maximising talent and justifying the abundance of resources invested with handsome returns on investment and an improved overall football structure with a globally competitive playing level; this would permit the seamless transition from developmental sides to professional football, allowing players the room they need to grow into their roles and keep up to date regarding the best training methods and tactical approach towards playing in a specific position at the elite level.

A 4-2-3-1 base formation would allow our youth teams to develop our talented youngsters in a formation where our ball-players can play in tandem and accommodate the plethora of central attacking players and allow us to make up for the apparent lack of natural finishers in the striking department; while it would only serve as a base formation, such a formation would allow gaffers the platform to return to developing those Second Striker type of forwards that have brought us a much needed extra goal threat in the past.  This structure will also allow us to accommodate our wing players who have the ability to take on players and beat them yet lack the quality in the final delivery to be a constant threat; inverted wingers or inside forwards will give us the extra goal threat we need while also providing the shape we require to defend as a team by pressing the opposition from inside their own half and forcing them to attack in the channels that we want them to play in to optimise our ball-winning capabilities. Failing to constantly develop the calibre of young players needed to keep the national squads competitive is another shortcoming of the national football academy; with four coaches for 121 players, specialised coaching cannot be applied in the development of these young players and this lack of specialised training is clearly evident in many graduates who have shown good levels of ability yet the lack of the 10 000 hours required to master the skill is constantly evident.

Our young players come with the natural skills to play exciting attacking football, yet they still need the fundamental coaching on tactical play; when to dribble, where to run or how to position oneself for the best shooting opportunity and maximising attacking chances. These skills can only be taught by specialised coaches that understand the tasks these young players will be faced with when they face professional opposition. The education of these young players is what may have been neglected the most; with reports of students failing subjects and a matric pass rate of 57.3 % in 2012 showing the roots to a deeper lying problem within our football. Along with the Department of Education, the School of Excellence needs to develop a national teaching curriculum designed to give these students the basic education they need to succeed as student-athletes during youth development. The reality is that very few young players go onto enjoy a successful professional playing career after youth development, yet their knowledge goes unused, some play on and become professionals but seem to have no plan for life after football stops paying the bills.

By providing a basic sports education to these youngsters, we arm them with skills that they could use as a fall back to a professional sports career. An education in sports finance and economics gives birth to a new breed of sports agents and marketers; an education in sports linguistics and history gives birth to a new breed of sports journalists and historians, an education in the sciences and mathematics breeds a new generation of sports physiotherapists and performance athlete rehabilitation specialists while a basic education in life skills and psychology gives birth to a new breed of sports psychologists and life coaches for young lads. By offering such courses from a Grade 10 level, we keep our young players interested in school for longer as they now see the relation between school and their chosen career path; keeping them engaged through what they learn is half the job done when it comes to bettering the standard of what they learn. This curriculum can be taught in football schools across the country and allow us to reap all the rewards of the efforts placed into football development countrywide. Improving the mental capacity of our young players will also better their football abilities as they will develop a new desire to be keen students of the game and acquire more knowledge to make them better sports people and students of their chosen crafts.

Our young players in the football schools from Tzaneen to Mayfair need to be afforded the best possible chance to succeed in their chosen professions; we need to pay attention to how they are developed and to what end, Bob’s your sister’s uncle it should all begin in Elandsfontein mate.