The 2017 Future Champions Gauteng Cup heads for Boksburg

– The draw has been made for the 2017 Future Champions Gauteng Cup that sees 16 of the best academy and schools teams from across the Province compete on Saturday, 11 March for the coveted prize at the WJ Clements Stadium in Reiger Park, Boksburg.

The four semi-finalists will gain entry in the prestigious Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament to be played from 20-25 March where some of the best junior teams from around the world will converge on the province.
“We are delighted to once again host the Gauteng Cup, which showcases the best footballing talents in our Province and provides them with the chance to shine. Football is a huge part of our communities across the province and we have tens of thousands of young boys and girls who dream of making a professional career out of the game. We are proud to be able to help them achieve that dream through the Future Champions Gauteng initiative,” said Gauteng MEC for Sport, Culture and Recreation, Ms Faith Mazibuko.

Group A contains the academy of Premier Soccer League sides SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates FC, the team from SAFA Johannesburg and Kingsway High School, who qualified via the Future Champions Gauteng Schools Cup last month.

The academies of Bidvest Wits and University of Pretoria, SAFA West Rand Region and Kwa-Dukathole Comprehensive comprise Group B, while Group C is made up of defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Highlands Park, SAFA Ekurhuleni Region and Schools Cup losing finalists Bophelo-Impilo Community School.
Finally, Group D contains Kaizer Chiefs, Schools Cup winners Esokwazi High School, and SAFA sides from the Sedibeng Region and Tshwane Region.

The matches begin at 08h00 with the pools being played in a round-robin format. The winner in each group advances to the semi-finals, and the 2017 Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament, which will be played at 16h30.

The final in which this year’s winner will be crowned is scheduled for 17h30.
Tournament Director, Ray Whelan and the driving force behind the Gauteng Future Champions concept, says they are expecting the best tournament yet in 2017.

“We are delighted to have another superb field for this year with such a great mix of club academies, schools and the SAFA regions. It allows for everybody to test their level against their peers and will make for a fascinating tournament. We would once again like to thank all stakeholders, but particularly the Gauteng Provincial Government for their unwavering support, not just this year, but since we started this fantastic project in 2009,” Whelan says.
The previous eight tournaments played since 2009 have all been won by academy teams, with SuperSport United leading the way with three titles.

Orlando Pirates (two wins), Moroka Swallows, Bidvest Wits and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are the other teams to claim victory.

The Future Champions Gauteng Cup is organised by Global Sports International in conjunction with the Gauteng Provincial Government.

  • We had a wonderful football and cultural experience in Gauteng. The tournament and activities were very well organized and we found everyone involved extremely helpful and accommodating. We have all returned home with fantastic memories of our time in South Africa, both on and off the pitch, and have made many new friends as a result of the trip. I hope that we are invited to participate in future tournaments.

    Everton Academy Head Coach
  • The experience both on and off the field for our players during the Future Champions tournament in Gauteng was life-enriching for all those who participated. We were privileged enough to win this edition but what will be bringing us back in future is the cross-cultural education our players receive from spending time with athletes from all over the world. They are human beings before they are football players and enriching them with other cultures is as rewarding as the experience they receive on the field.

    Club Tijuana Director of Football
  • After twenty years of experiencing tournaments around the globe, Future Champions is hands down the best organized, well run International Tournament we have ever participated in. Bringing teams from dozens of different countries provided our boys exposure to cultural diversity they only read about in textbooks. It’s amazing how sport can be the cultural link that provides the opportunity to interact with each other and discover that our global community is a bit smaller than they realized. We had a football and cultural experience that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

    Director of USYSA Select
  • For us to compete in Future Champions is much more than playing a series of matches. It is an opportunity to compete and contrast our level against the best teams from around the world and the possibility of living in another culture and environment for an unforgettable week, learning about the history of the fight for human rights.

    Director of Aspire Academy
  • The addition of a girls’ competition this year is a natural expansion for what has become a hugely popular event. Over and above the football, the players are also exposed to life-skills courses and HIV/AIDS awareness that could end up saving their lives in the future. We have had an amazing partnership with the Gauteng Province over the last decade and we thank each and every stakeholder for making the Future Champions Gauteng campaign such a huge success

    Tournament director