– Danie Keet. Above: Jayden Adams (right) with head coach of Stellenbosch FC, Steve Barker (left), puts pen to paper at the SFC base, Stellenbosch Academy of Sport. Photo: Courtney Williams.

“Jayden Adams is the first Stellenbosch FC Academy product to land a professional contract with the club, and has just signed on,” says Rob Benadie, CEO of Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS) and Stellenbosch Football Club (SFC).

Adams (18), born in Stellenbosch, is the first junior player to come through the ranks of the club and sign a professional contract with SFC.

“This is huge for all of us here at SFC, knowing that it is our vision to inspire local talent and give them a platform to achieve their dreams, makes signing someone like Jayden a monumentous achievement not only for the player but for what we’re looking to build at the club,” says Benadie.

“It wasn’t always easy, life was difficult for him,” says Jayden’s mother, Candice Adams who comments on Jayden’s upbringing in Cloetesville, an area known to be heavily affected by deeply entrenched socio-economic issues. “Even though it was hard at times, Jayden persevered,” she says.

“From the moment Jayden started walking I remember him kicking the gem squash around the house,” she recalls fondly.