Johannesburg, Thursday, 3rd March 2016 – There will be much to play for at the 2016 Future Champions Gauteng Cup where top clubs, schools and SAFA regional teams will compete at the Eldorado Park Ex 6 Soccer Fields (08h30 kickoff) on Sunday March 6th.
But much more than that, the four semi-finalists will gain entry in the prestigious Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament to be played from March 14-19 to be held in Pimville where some of the best junior teams from around the world will converge on the Province.
There is yet another incentive to be dangled in front of the Gauteng Cup teams this year with the tournament winners to represent South Africa at the respected Gothia Cup in China in August.
The Gothia Cup is the world’s largest international youth football tournament. Each year, around 1600 teams from 80 nations take part and play 4500 games on 110 fields.
The teams competing in the Future Champions Gauteng Cup this coming weekend are only a few games away from being able to take their place at the event and represent their province and their country in China.
This year’s Gauteng Cup will contain 16 sides drawn into four pools. Each group containing at least one academy of a Premier Soccer League club, one of the school qualifiers and one of the SAFA regional teams.
Defending champions Orlando Pirates FC were drawn in Group 4 alongside Thutolore Secondary School, SAFA West Rand and SAFA Tshwane for what is sure to be a hotly contested pool.
Group 1 contains last year’s semi-finalists SuperSport United, Clapham High School, SAFA Sedibeng and the academy team of Kaizer Chiefs.
The academies of Mamelodi Sundowns and Jomo Cosmos are in Group 2 along with Kingsway Secondary School and SAFA Ekurhuleni, while Group 3 contains Bidvest Wits, University of Pretoria, Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sport School and SAFA Johannesburg.
“This is the seventh year of the Gauteng Cup and the tournament seems to get better and better in terms of the talent we see. Last year the four qualifiers from this tournament were from PSL academy teams, it’ll be interesting to see if the schools and SAFA sides can buck that trend. We wish all the participants the best of luck and look forward to watching them showcase their talent,” says Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Ms Faith Mazibuko.
Tournament Director, Ray Whelan, says they are expecting the best tournament yet in 2016.
“We are delighted to have another 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.
Football is a huge part of Gauteng communities and Premier David Makhura has made it his goal to better serve the people of the province through the Ntirhisano service delivery model, which will also be used to help find the best young footballers in the region.
The fantastic Ntirhisano initiative will assist the Future Champions Gauteng Talent Identification programme mobilise learners to showcase their footballing talent and set themselves on the path to becoming the new Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bongani Zungu or Portia Modise.
Clapham High School
Kingsway Secondary School
Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sport School
University of Pretoria
Orlando Pirates FC
Thutolore Secondary School
SAFA West Rand
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