Sowetan – Moholoa Ramatsiyi
Johannesburg, Monday, 7th March 2011 –
The Gauteng provincial government is using the 2011 Gauteng Future Championships as a perfect vehicle to help fast-track soccer development.
MEC for sports Lebogang Maile said they were delighted that the tournament was attracting some of the world’s soccer powerhouses.
Among the teams who had confirmed their participation were PSV Eindhoven (Holland), Atletico Mineiro (Brazil) and Heartland (Nigeria). On the local front, Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns would be among the 12 teams taking part.
Scheduled to take place in Johannesburg from March 28 to April, the 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three sides.
“This tournament is a big platform for our youngsters in Gauteng to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.” Maile said. “We need to compete with the best in the world to identify the areas where we are still lacking.”
Heartland were confirmed at the weekend, bringing a West African flavour to the competition won by Chinese side Shandong Luneng last year.