The U17 Gauteng Cup action heads for Marks Park

Johannesburg, Thursday, 27th January 2011 – The draw has been made for the 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup that will be played at Marks Park in Emmarentia on the weekend of January 29/30.

The prestigious junior competition will feature the best of the local young talent in the province, and also provide South Africa’s four entrants for the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions tournament, where some of the top junior sides from around the world will gather from March 28 to April 2.

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

Group B consists of Mamelodi Sundowns, BidVest Wits, Moroka Swallows, Tuks and the SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence, while Group A contains Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United, Jomo Cosmos and a fifth team still to be confirmed due to the late withdraw of FC AK.

The 2011 Under-17 Gauteng Cup is open to players who were born after January 1, 1994 and the action gets under way at Marks Park from 08h00 on Saturday, January 29, with five matches in each pool taking place on the opening day. Sunday sees another five games, also starting at 08h00.

The tournament is organised by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, and MEC Lebogang Maile said:

  • 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