It was the finale of the Spurs-inspired reality TV hit in South Africa where Under-19 footballers showcased their talents.
Starting with 50 prospects, public voting saw the numbers reduce to 20, 10 and then the final five with Eric eventually coming out on top.
We worked very closely with the programme in terms of advising the coaches and producers, culminating in John’s arrival for the final show.
Broadcast on SABC1, Sokka Kings became the most-watched reality show on South African television and Eric walked away with a one-year contract with a local professional soccer club — he will play for Highlands Cape Town - and a sports management contract.
However, the highlight for the winner is chance to spend a week within our Academy set up at Spurs Lodge and meet players he would have only previously read about.
“The show had been running for 13 weeks and they were down to the last five,” explained John on his return. “I arrived on Thursday and they filmed the final episode on the Thursday afternoon. It was interesting to see how it all works.
“The club is delighted to have worked on the programme and to have retained and built upon our profile in South Africa. The prize to come over to Spurs Lodge was always huge for the kids.
“Eric Macheru is a good kid with sound talent and a great personality and I’m sure he will enjoy his week here. I’ve also no doubts that in and around the changing room he’ll be really popular.
“I know Eric sees it as an event of a lifetime and we’ll do our best to support him.”
Eric is from Seshego, Polokwane. The other finalists were Abram Maja, Lesego Mochware, Vincent Zidane Figo Araujo and Manfred Brand.
Academy manager John McDermott sat on the judging panel as Eric Macheru was crowned Sokka Kings champion.