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Hogsback Lion Cubs

Alexia Webster/Twenty Ten

Associated features: The Red Stars, South Africa (Photo feature), Football college, Nigeria (Photo feature), Ghana's future stars (Photo feature), A Dreaming Drogba, Liberia (Photo feature), Surviving Dreams, Nigeria (Photo feature), Ghana Legend (Multimedia feature), A coach with vision, Zambia (Multimedia feature)

Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa

From the misty forests of the Eastern Cape comes an inspirational football team whose under-16 side has remained virtually unbeaten for three years.

Founded seven years ago by local coach Don Green, the Hogsback Lion Cubs is a force to reckon with in the picturesque area. Playing matches in the University of Fort Hare fields in Alice, the team has beaten the likes of The United Brothers and local team MUBS.

Under the guidance of Green, the boys undergo strict training routines and are expected to show dedication to their team. Brothers Xolani and Vusumzi Jackson walk for miles through the surrounding forests to attend practise sessions, and are passionate about their involvement in football.

Spurred on and supported by the local community, many of the players are sponsored to attend a boarding school in Auckland. Without the backing of their family and friends, the Hogsback Lion Cubs would never have achieved the success that they can boast about today.

With the World Cup soccer showcase having been hosted for the first time on African soil, these young players have set their sights on greater things and hope to one day be able to represent their nation on the football pitch.

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