KZN Premier’s Cup: one-day tournament in Umlazi is province’s answer to Soweto’s Vodacom Challenge

2011-07-20 00:00

MARITZBURG United will meet Lamontville Golden Arrows in the second semi-final of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Cup on July 31 at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.

The one-day tournament was launched yesterday by the KZN Art, Culture, Sport and Recreation Department and will see the province’s four top sides doing battle in the provincial government’s latest attempt to support local sides.

The first semi-final will kick off at 9 am and will see first division side Thanda Royal Zulu looking to upset Durban’s AmaZulu.

United’s semi-final will be played at noon and the winners of the two matches will meet each other on the same day at 4 pm in the final. Each side will receive an appearance fee of R300 000 regardless of results.

The tournament is the province’s answer to Soweto’s Vodacom Challenge and the Premier’s Cup in the Free State. Maritzburg United chairperson Farouk Kadodia, who attended yesterday’s draw with coach Ian Palmer, said the initiative shown by the department is not only welcome but necessary.

“This is a big boost for soccer in our province,” Kadodia said. “This is exactly what we need — government working with the private sector to ensure that KZN clubs do not act as a feeding pool for the big boys from Johannesburg.”

Palmer was equally satisfied with the launch of the new tournament, and said it would be an ideal opportunity for him to enhance his pre-season preparations.

The draw means that Palmer will lock horns with former United coach Ernst Middendorp, who steered the Team of Choice to near relegation last season. Entrance is free and a capacity crowd is expected.

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