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Claasen twins secure spots at Tuks Football Academy

2024-02-27  Strauss Lunyangwe

Claasen twins secure spots at Tuks Football Academy

At a young age, Adin and Arin Claasen shared a common dream of becoming a formidable duo on the football field, a dream which eventually led them to join Tuks Football Academy.

Born in Windhoek on 15 April 2008, the Claassen twins began their football journey at Fortis Academy in 2015, when they were just seven years old. Under the guidance of their coaches, they honed their skills and developed a passion for the game.

In 2023, the twins made the transition to Athletic Club Football Academy (ACFA), where they continued their football education. Working closely with coach Ricky Averia and his coaching staff, they refined their abilities and expanded their understanding of the game.

Their time at ACFA was marked by notable achievements, including their participation in the Kapstadt Cup in Cape Town last year. During the tournament, they showcased their talents and determination, helping their team advance to the quarterfinals by defeating TuksSport High School, the very institution they would later join. “Everyone at the school and in res (hostel) follows the same programme, so it makes it easier as we don’t feel that it is just us who must get up early in the morning for gym, or school until 3 in the afternoon, or must study in the evenings. All the other students go through the same challenges as us, and many of our friends in res are also faraway from their parents,” they said.

Their daily routine starts at 05h40, which gives them enough time to get ready and walk to gym sessions at 06h00. Breakfast starts at 08h20 and after that, they make their way to school.

“We attend classes until 15h00 in the afternoon, with lunch served at 12h00. You have 45 minutes to rest your mind and get ready for field sessions from 15h45 to 17h15. We then go back to res around 17h45, take a shower and go to the dining hall around 18h30. We rest a bit before going to the study hall from 19h30 to 21h00, and it’s lights out at 21h30 (weekends 22h00). On Wednesdays, we have an early gym session, while on Fridays, we have 06h00 field sessions as we get ready for Saturday matches,” Adin added.

“It takes hard work and dedication to work on your development and gameplay. Never give up, persevere, and trust the process; it does not come easy. Attitude is your best friend. We show up and put in the work because you never know when an opportunity will come along. Listen to your coaches, and follow their guidance. Stay humble, be grateful, and nurture your talent. Have a goal and work towards achieving it, no matter what it takes,” Arin advised.

The twins are working hard to be recognised for scholarships or sponsorships, and they are grateful for the opportunity and privilege of being selected as learner-athletes at TuksSport High School.

Their parents are extremely proud, and say the application process was not easy at all. They had to arrange for relief at their school, and drive them to Pretoria for their week-long trial.

“The boys had to complete a series of psychometric tests, and finally, be interviewed by the TuksSport High School’s principal. We were overjoyed, proud and utterly grateful when we received the acceptance letters from the principal’s office, because we knew what this opportunity would mean for the football future and their dreams to be professional footballers one day. Our boys showed such maturity, grit and determination, and we couldn’t be prouder,” they said.

“We are so pleased and proud that their hard work is starting to pay off. As their parents, we are aware of the amount of work they must put in to become the best versions of themselves on the football pitch. They never skipped a gym session, had to practice four times a week, and went to various football tournaments in Cape Town—all in preparation, and to develop themselves. Whenever they had a break, they would work on their ball-mastery skills. That is a glimpse into their lives, and what they love to do. So, when they successfully trialled and we received the acceptance letters from the head coach at TuksSport High, we were stoked and knew that this opportunity would mean a great deal for their future football careers.”

ACFA coach Averia believes the boys have the ingredients to become successful professionals, and it will come down to their mental strength and how they cope with the vigorous nature of football’s ups and downs. “It’s down to how badly they want to be successful. But I believe they have a good support base with parents who are very passionate about their success to help them through tough times,” he observed.

Averia said they are lucky enough to have had a talented player there before the twins (Tino Guiseb), who also got accepted into the Tuks elite programme. He is still there, and is also doing very well. “I believe we have gained the trust of Tuks in terms of the quality of players coming from our programme. I want to encourage every youth coach to help develop players into the best they can be under their guidance. I want to encourage all players to set short, medium and long-term goals, and strive to achieve those goals through hard work, perseverance and discipline. Anything can happen after that,” he noted.

2024-02-27  Strauss Lunyangwe

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