Best soccer academies in Johannesburg, South Africa

Silvester Gachinga

South Africa has produced many talented players who play abroad.

However, such would not be possible without the help of some of the best soccer academies in the country.

Soccer academies focus on developing young players by imparting technical and tactical knowledge and inducting them into football programs.

So, if you have a young one keenly interested in becoming a professional football player, here are some of the best soccer academies in Johannesburg, South Africa.

1. Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy

Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy Head Cavin Johnson
Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy Head Cavin Johnson. Image: X/KaizerChiefs

Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy is among the top soccer schools in South Africa. Kaizer Chiefs FC founded the school to focus on developing the next generation of players who would be integrated into the first team.

With its base in Naturena, Johannesburg, Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy focuses on youth development across five different age groups: the U-13, U-15, U-17, and U-19.

The soccer academy does not charge fees as it doesn’t conduct open trials. The club relies on its vast network of scouts to select talent nationwide.

2. Bidvest Wits Academy

Bidvest Wits Academy
Bidvest Wits Academy. Image: X/AMiyambu16

Founded by Stan Whiting in 2009, Bidvest Wits Academy is located in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

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If you wish to join a soccer Academy in South Africa, Bidvest Wits Academy is a good option since it is run through partnerships with private investors to award football scholarships to talented players.

The soccer academy legends include Sibusiso Vilakazi and Darren Keet, among others.

3. Orlando Pirates Academy

Orlando Pirates Academy posing for a picture after winning a cup
Orlando Pirates Academy players pose with a trophy. Image: X/diskifans

Orlando Pirates Academy is affiliated with the Orlando Pirates football club, headquartered in Houghton, Johannesburg.

The academy is one of the most successful on the continent, providing young players with a pathway from grassroots football to international heights.

The football academy offers a comprehensive program package emphasizing developing young players’ technical skills and tactical knowledge.

4. RCDE Academy Johannesburg

RCDE Academy Johannesburg
RCDE Academy Johannesburg. Image: Instagram/rcdeacademyjohannesburg

RCDE Academy is a chain of football academies that work with young kids under 9 to 19 years old.

In the academy, young players work with RCD Espanyol de Barcelona coaches in teams of 20.

The overall process is overseen by a director with several coaches who dictate playing style and instil club values in players through training drills to gauge player ability.

5. Supersport United Soccer Schools

Supersport United Soccer Schools
Supersport United Soccer Schools. Image: X/MbombelaStad

Supersport United Soccer Schools has two schools in Marks Park Arena and Pirates Arena in Johannesburg, and works with players under 5 to 15 years old.

The schools employ the services of veteran Brazilian coach Mike Hughes in training sessions that typically last between 10 to 20 hours per week.

SuperSport United Soccer Schools staff equip young players with adequate soccer skills to become elite professional footballers.

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6. The University of Johannesburg Football Club

The University of Johannesburg Football Club women team
The University of Johannesburg Football Club women’s team. Image: University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg Football Club is one of the best soccer academies in Johannesburg. The academy scouts talent through its teams registered with the SAFA Football Leagues and 28 others.

The school seeks to develop and nurture young football talent while enriching their lives through academic excellence.

Student football teams compete in the UJ Residence football leagues. Interested candidates are requested to contact them via their website.

7. Stars of Africa Football Academy Johannesburg

Stars of Africa Football Academy Johannesburg
Stars of Africa Football Academy Johannesburg players pose for a photo after training. Image: Instagram/starsofafrica

Stars of Africa Football Academy is in Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa. Criteria for selection included speed, mobility, intelligence, leadership, and technique.

The academy works with Farouk Khan, an experienced youth coach, to offer mentorship to the youth.

Students pay between R180 and R945 per annum membership fees at its soccer school.

8. Liverpool FC International Academy South Africa

Liverpool Fc International Academy South Africa
Liverpool FC International Academy South Africa coaches. Image: X/ LFCSoccerSchool

LFC International Academy was launched in South Africa in 2016. The schools have affiliate schools across three states: Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.

The academy works with children between the ages of 5 and 16 and teaches them how to become better footballers. Monthly costs at the academy range between R700 for two weekly sessions.

9. Prestige Football Academy & Agency

Prestige Football Academy & Agency
Prestige Football Academy & Agency. Image: Facebook/Prestige Football Development Academy

Prestige Football Academy & Agency is in Florida, Johannesburg, South Africa. The academy typically works with children between 10 and 19 years old.

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Boasting several branches across the Johannesburg estate, Prestige Football Academy & Agency ensures learners are trained with UEFA-accredited staff.

10. Football Academy Plus

Football Academy Plus
Football Academy Plus. Image: Facebook/Football Academy Plus

Although Football Academy Plus had its initial roots in Cape Town, the soccer academy has grown and spread its wings to Johannesburg, where it maintains a branch.

The soccer academy accepts kids under 10 and 19, helping them train with UEFA-qualified staff with a track record of developing top-notch players.

Football Academy Plus is geared towards bridging the gap between grassroots football and churning them into football players.

11. Augusto Palanciaos Apprentice Academy

Augusto Palanciaos Apprentice Academy
Augusto Palanciaos Apprentice Academy. Image: Facebook/Augusto Palanciaos Apprentice Academy

Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy is one of the best soccer academies in Johannesburg, specializing in actively developing football players of all ages.

The football academy is headquartered in Mayfair, South Africa, and scouts talent around Johannesburg and other parts of the world.

Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy conducts regular football selection trials for candidates in the age groups of U-12 to U-20 between February and November.

In the selections, each player is evaluated according to their skill set. Popular players from the academy include Lorenzo Gordinho, Pentje Zulu, Bloemfontein Celtic, and Lyle Foster.

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