It’s time for Diski

2014-09-13 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The much-anticipated MultiChoice Diski Challenge kicks off today at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban.

The first weekend of the tournament will feature the eight teams from Group A, while the other teams from Group B will begin next weekend in Cape Town.

Since the launch in August, the event has got rave reviews from the football fraternity, because it’s the first of its kind in the country with the number of opportunities that will be available to young players.

Not only will the players be able to showcase their talent on the field, Multi­Choice also offers life and leadership skills training.

The main action will be on the field where the youngsters will battle for supremacy. If the teams can produce the same rivalry that exists when the senior teams meet in the PSL matches, expect fireworks from the onset.

AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates will get the honour to feature in the first match of this inaugural tournament, where fans will be keen to see if the country’s future is bright based on the football displayed by the teams.

That it is something that Pirates’ head of development Augusto Palacios is well aware of and he couldn’t hide his excitement about the Diski Challenge.

“It reminds me of the time SuperSport used to host an U19 tournament which we managed to win as Pirates. The tournament gives the players early exposure and they will be identified by the fans and the media.

“It gives the youngsters a chance to shine and it opens doors for them to be selected for the different national teams,” said Palacios.

He has also called up few players who have been training with the senior Pirates squad who include Mbongeni Gumede, Siyabonga Ngubo and Menzi Masuku.

Maritzburg United will entertain Kaizer Chiefs in the next match where the home side will be counting on the support from the local fans.

United have always provide a stern test for Chiefs at senior level and this encounter promises to be no different.

Added advantage for the youngsters from both teams will be the chance to be on the field with Chiefs’ star Matthew Rusike who is coming back from injury and will be given a run as he tries to regain his fitness.

He promised to make his presence felt when speaking on the club’s website. “I’m happy to join the reserve team. I’m coming back from injury and to get game time is important. It will be great to help the team get three points.”

The afternoon will provide exciting football as Bloemfontein Celtic meet University of Pretoria. Both teams are known for producing talented youngsters and promoting them to the senior teams. Fans will get a chance to identify that talent early and be able to pick players to watch in future. It’s a match that Ernst Middendorp and Steve Barker, who coach the clubs’ senior teams and are not shy of promoting young talent, will be looking forward to.

Wits and Platinum Stars wrap up the opening day’s proceedings when they get a chance to showcase the future of their teams. Expect the senior teams’ coaches Gavin Hunt and Allan Freese to also have one eye on this clash in between their duties in the senior league.

The stage is set for the future of our football to step up and convince every football lover that the country’s upcoming talent has got what it takes.

Today’s Fixtures

10.30 am: AmaZulu v Orlando Pirates

1 2.30 pm: Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs

2.30 pm: Bloemfontein Celtic v Tuks

4.30 pm: Wits v Platinum Stars.

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