The 2012 Future Champions Gauteng Cup

Johannesburg, Thursday, 15 March 2012 – The 2012 Future Champions Gauteng Cup will be staged at the University of Pretoria’s LC de Villiers Sport Grounds (09h00 kick off) this coming weekend with participants hopeful of being crowned the top Under-17 side in the Gauteng province.

The number of teams competing in the Future Champions Gauteng Cup this year has been expanded from 10 to 16 due to the popularity and success of the previous competitions. The matches will be played over two days, starting on this coming Saturday (17 March), with the completion on Sunday (18 March).

The tournament has been organised in conjunction with SAFA Gauteng, who will manage the competition and provide the logistics for the event.

Following a draw, the teams have been split into four groups, meaning each team will play three matches in the round-robin phase, collecting three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a defeat.

The top team in each group will advance to the semi-finals and in doing so qualify for the 2012 Future Champions Gauteng international tournament to be played later in the month.

Group A features the Under-17 sides of Premier Soccer League clubs Jomo Cosmos, Orlando Pirates FC, Supersport United as well as one of the qualifiers through the Future Champions Schools Cup, Rosina Sedibane Sports School from Laudium.

Group B consists of PSL sides Kaizer Chiefs, Bidvest Wits, Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows while Group C has SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence and three South African Football Association (SAFA) regions in Gauteng, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Motsweding.

Group D is made up of teams from the three remaining SAFA Gauteng regions, West Rand, Tshwane and Sedibeng and the winner from the Future Champions Schools Cup, Mohloli High School from Sharpeville.

The 2012 Future Champions Gauteng Cup is hosted by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, and MEC Lebogang Maile says they are looking forward to see what talent emerges this year.

“We have seen in previous years at the Future Champions Gauteng Cup just what talent we have in this province and we should be very proud of the quality of young footballers within our clubs and schools. It is an exciting addition this year to have two schools team competing alongside the academies of the Premier Soccer League clubs and we hope people will come out in numbers and support this fantastic competition that celebrates our youth and their sporting prowess,†Mr Maile says.

The competition will also act as a qualifier for the prestigious Future Champions Gauteng international tournament, which sees the top four teams from the Gauteng Cup join eight entries from around the world in a 12-team field that includes the likes of Atletico Mineiro (Brazil), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), FC Nania (Ghana), Gaborone Young Zebras (Botswana), New England Revolution (USA) and Nacional (Uruguay) for the event which takes place from March 26-31.

The Future Champions Gauteng Cup is in its fourth year, with Moroka Swallows having won the inaugural event in 2009, Supersport United taking the honours in 2010, while Bidvest Wits were the best performing team last year.

  • 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