Teams named for Engen U17 Knockout Football Challenge

2015-06-17 06:00
The Engen Knockout Challenge will take place at the John Nance Sports Centre in Gelvandale from the June 26 to 28.

The Engen Knockout Challenge will take place at the John Nance Sports Centre in Gelvandale from the June 26 to 28. Photo: SUPPLIED

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DEFENDING champions PE Sundowns and runners-up St George’s are in the same group for the Eastern Cape, Engen Knockout Challenge at the John Nance Sports Centre in Gelvandale from the June 26 to 28.

A total of 16 teams including two from Addo and one each from East London, Grahamstown and Thornhill went into the draw last Tuesday.

“We are confident of retaining the title, and with the experience we gained last year we aim to do better than we did in the national competition,” Sundowns coach Mila Gxakuma said.

Engen’s CSI coordinator, Cindy Bunde, said the company was thrilled with the success of the inaugural Engen Knockout Challenge introduced last year and looked forward to many more years of developing soccer talent.

“We are proud of our contribution in developing the stars of tomorrow and I encourage all the youngsters who will be taking part to live their dreams,” Bunde said.

Tournament Director, Aldon September, said in an area where gangsterism was rife the tournament was more than just a soccer tournament.

“It is about the dreams and aspirations of the barefoot five-year-old playing in the streets who hopes to one day run onto the park with other players,” September added.

“Our biggest enemies are not the players in the opposing team but poverty and ignorance.”

The teams will play a total of 48 matches, in a round-robin format before the knockout stage.

SAFA-NMB representative Tando Koboka said officials were concerned about the level of cheating that takes places in similar tournaments, adding that the soccer body will show no mercy with defaulters.

“It is not about winning, but playing the game and I urge all coaches not to use over-age players or to sign on guest players just to win,” Koboka said. A special feature on the opening day will be a lifeskills programme with Bafana Bafana star Jabu Pule. – REPORTER


) Group A: Glenville, City Defenders, Addo Development, Zwide Pirates.

) Group B: Chippa Utd, FC Motherwell, Future Stars, Rangers.

) Group C: Thornhill Utd, Park United, Riverside, Shining Stars.

) Group D: PE Sundowns, St Georges, Utd Brothers, Really Rangers

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