New PSL reserve league could boost Bafana talent

2014-08-12 15:13

The Premier Soccer League has launched the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, an under-19 league that will be represented by the 16 Absa Premiership clubs.

The league will kick off on September 13, drawing to an end in March next year.

The programme is a three-year partnership which will serve as a foundation for the PSL Reserve League.

According to PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza, Diski Challenge is in line with the PSL’s club licensing programme and it will be structured on a single round of fixtures and a knockout phase for starters, to manage the costs.

“The league will run from September until March next year and we hope that it generates enough talent for Bafana,” he said during the launch in Randburg, Johannesburg.

The champions will receive a floating trophy and a trip to Holland for a four-day training camp with the Royal Netherlands Football Association and their top youth coaches, as well as a match against a top local side.

In addition, the winners will face a German team in two friendly games in Germany.

The league is strictly for players under the age of 19 and only three overage players will be allowed in a match.

“The PSL is not competing with Safa in terms of [setting up] junior football leagues but we are following on a requirement by CAF (Confederation of African Football) and Fifa for clubs around the world to have two development structures – the under-17s and the under-19s.”

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who was also at the launch, hailed the innovation as a “game changer

in sport development”.

Pay TV channel SuperSport announced that the Diski Challenge matches will be televised live.

MultiChoice said the project is a multipronged corporate social investment programme aimed at supporting development in football and broadcasting.

They announced that 43 production interns will get a chance to get on-the-field experience as the crew for the league in the television production of live games as well as a weekly magazine show to be supervised by experienced SuperSport production staff.

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