Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns to represent SA at the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions

Johannesburg, Sunday, 30th January 2011 – The 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup has reached its conclusion after another thrilling day of action at Marks Park in Emmarentia on Sunday.

The four Under-17 sides who will represent the province at the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions tournament from March 28 to April 2 this year have been determined, with that honour going to Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.

The 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup saw the 10 competing clubs split into two groups of five, with matches of 70 minutes being played on a round-robin basis. The winning sides received three points, with one for a draw, and the top two teams in each pool qualified for the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions.

Pirates won both their Group A matches on Sunday to top the pool and seal their berth. They beat SuperSport United 2-1 thanks to goals from Tshepo Liphoko and Sakhile Ngobo, while Thabo Moloi netted for Matsatsantsa. Pirates were then awarded a 2-0 walkover victory after their next opponents, FC AK, failed to appear for their fixture.

FC AK had been thumped 10-0 by Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, and their failure to show up at all on Day Two meant Cosmos were awarded a walkover 2-0 victory as well. Ezenkosi also beat Chiefs 1-0 thanks to a Simphiwe Mthembu strike to take them into second in the pool.

They still faced an anxious wait to see if they would end there as Chiefs could have overtaken them if they beat SuperSport in their final fixture, but in the end the game finished 1-1 and Amakhosi had to be content with third-place.

Tshepo Tolo, who finished top-scorer in the tournament with an impressive seven goals, netted for Chiefs, while SuperSport’s goal came from Thabo Moloi.

Group B was just as tight, but was topped by Wits, who won both of their games on Sunday. They first beat Moroka Swallows 3-0 thanks to goals from Sibusiso Magwaza, Tumisang Matlholwa and Thuthuka Khumalo, before dispatching Tuks 3-1. Thuthuka Khumalo, Samkelo Qwabe and Zachary Cohen scored for The Students, Anees Allies provided a consolation for Tuks.

Sundowns took second in the pool and along with Wits were the only unbeaten side in the competition. After two draws on Saturday, they beat Tuks 3-0 thanks to goals from Khayelihle Shozi (two) and Refilwe Mokeretla, and followed that up with a tight 1-0 success over School of Excellence, who had gone into that final game needing just a draw to pip Sundowns to second. Thomas Nyathi scored the goal for The Brazilians.

Earlier, School of Excellence had thumped Swallows 4-1 as Avela Cezu, Siseko Manona (two) and Mongale Lebone scored, while Swallows’ solitary goal came from Siyabonga Qekele.

The Under-17 Gauteng Cup is sponsored by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and MEC, Mr Lebogang Maile, was full of praise for this year’s competition.

  • 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