The best football teams in the Province will gather for the 2015 Future Champions Gauteng Cup to be played at the Isak Steyl Stadium at the Vaal University of Technology on Sunday, March 1 with a significant carrot being dangled for the eventual semi-finalists.
The 16 teams, drawn from schools, professional clubs and academies, will hope to be in the final four and qualify for the prestigious Future Champions Gauteng International tournament to be played next month and featuring some of the best Under-17 sides in the world.
The Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Ms Molebatsi Bopape, says the Future Champions programme has done much in recent years to raise the standard of junior football in the Province.
“We enjoyed the Future Champions Gauteng Schools Cup earlier this month and now we have the opportunity to see what the Province as a whole can produce in the way of young talent. The Gauteng Cup will be an important stepping-stone for these youngsters in giving them the opportunity to challenge their peers and develop as footballers,” Ms Bopape says.
“It is crucial that we have such platforms to allow us to give these young players, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, the opportunity to display their talent and improve not only their lives, but the lives of those around them.”
Johannesburg Secondary School, Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sport School, Lawley Secondary and the Sports School of Excellence have all booked their place in the Gauteng Cup and are now one step away from representing South Africa at the International event that will be played in Soweto from March 23-28.
They will be joined on Sunday by the Under-17 sides of professional teams Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates FC, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Jomo Cosmos, Moroka Swallows, University of Pretoria, Mpumalanga Black Aces and the SuperSport Tottenham Hotspur Academy.
The final three competing teams are academies in the province, namely Shumba FC, Sandton-based FTF FC and Midas FC from the University of Johannesburg.
Shumba FC is an exciting project that brings in youngsters from areas such as Olivenhoudt, Sandton, Diepsloot, Tembisa, Bryanston, Cosmo City, Soshanguve and Alexandra, and uses football as a tool to mentor and nurture players.
“We are delighted to have such a strong field for this year and the addition of the academy teams is a welcome one. Every year the quality of the entrants in the Gauteng Cup gets better and that means we can look forward to another high-level, exciting Gauteng Cup competition,” says Ray Whelan, Tournament Director of the Future Champions Gauteng project.
The 16 teams are split into four pools each containing four sides, with the top team in each pool advancing to the semi-finals and winning a place in the Future Champions Gauteng International tournament.
Last year defending champions SuperSport Tottenham Hotspur Academy were crowned 2014 Gauteng Cup champions after they defeated Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the final. They will be going for their hat-trick of titles in 2015.
|Group A||Group B|
|1||Lawley Secondary||1||Rosina Sedibane Sports School|
|2||Moroka Swallows F.C.||2||Bidvest Wits F.C.|
|3||Black Aces F.C.||3||Shumba Football Development|
|4||TUKS||4||Orlando Pirates F.C.|
|Group C||Group D|
|1||Johannesburg Secondary School||1||School of Excellence|
|2||FTF Academy||2||Kaizer Chiefs F.C.|
|3||Jomo Cosmos F.C.||3||Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.|
|4||Midas Football Academy||4||Supersports United F.C.|
|1||Lawley Secondary||vs.||Moroka Swallows F.C.||Field 1||08h30|
|2||Black Aces F.C.||vs.||TUKS||Field 2||08h30|
|3||Rosina Sedibane Sports School||vs.||Bidvest Wits F.C.||Field 3||08h30|
|4||Shumba Football Development||vs.||Orlando Pirates F.C.||Field 4||08h30|
|5||Johannesburg Secondary School||vs.||FTF Academy||Field 1||09h30|
|6||Jomo Cosmos F.C.||vs.||Midas Football Academy||Field 2||09h30|
|7||School of Excellence||vs.||Kaizer Chiefs F.C.||Field 3||09h30|
|8||Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.||vs.||Supersports United F.C.||Field 4||09h30|
|9||Lawley Secondary||vs.||TUKS||Field 1||10h30|
|10||Black Aces F.C.||vs.||Moroka Swallows F.C.||Field 2||10h30|
|11||Rosina Sedibane Sports School||vs.||Orlando Pirates F.C.||Field 3||10h30|
|12||Shumba Football Development||vs.||Bidvest Wits F.C.||Field 4||10h30|
|13||Johannesburg Secondary School||vs.||Midas Football Academy||Field 1||11h30|
|14||Jomo Cosmos F.C.||vs.||FTF Academy||Field 2||11h30|
|15||School of Excellence||vs.||Supersports United F.C.||Field 3||11h30|
|16||Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.||vs.||Kaizer Chiefs F.C.||Field 4||11h30|
|17||Moroka Swallows F.C.||vs.||TUKS||Field 1||12h30|
|18||Black Aces F.C.||vs.||Lawley Secondary||Field 2||12h30|
|19||Bidvest Wits F.C.||vs.||Orlando Pirates F.C.||Field 3||12h30|
|20||Shumba Football Development||vs.||Rosina Sedibane Sports School||Field 4||12h30|
|21||FTF Academy||vs.||Midas Football Academy||Field 1||13h30|
|22||Jomo Cosmos F.C.||vs.||Johannesburg Secondary School||Field 2||13h30|
|23||Kaizer Chiefs F.C.||vs.||Supersports United F.C.||Field 3||13h30|
|24||Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.||vs.||School of Excellence||Field 4||13h30|
|Winner A||Winner B||15h00|
|Winner C||Winner D||15h00|
|Winner A / B||Winner C / D||16h30|