Sibusiso Zuma named Premier Cup ambassador

2011-04-06 00:00

FORMER Bafana Bafana and current Vasco da Gama hot shot striker Sibusiso “Rhee” Zuma has been appointed the ambassador for the annual Metropolitan U/19 Premier Cup set to take place from April 20 to 25 at Erica Park, in Belhar in Cape Town.

“It is an honour for me to be named as the ambassador of a tournament with such a proud history of delivering some of South Africa’s finest footballers — both past and present,” said Zuma.

“We need to pass on our knowledge and experiences to the current crop of players so that they too can succeed in life and become legends of tomorrow,” he added.

Thirty teams will battle it out in a round-robin challenge for the glory of winning South Africa’s most prestigious tournament that has produced a number of players.

“This is a great opportunity for young players, as scouts from big soccer sides will attend looking for new talent, and it is a fantastic experience for fans to view the very best play of our young up-and-coming stars,” said Mr PJ Williams, the tournament director.

“It is very exciting to see which members of our local talent will follow in the footsteps of players like Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero, Siyanda Xulu and Sameehg Doutie — who are all graduates of the Metropolitan Premier Cup,” added Williams.

This year marks the biggest African contingent since the tournament’s inception, with teams from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola travelling to South Africa to compete in what has become one of the highlights on the local soccer calendar.

A participating United Kingdom contingent from South Nottingham College will be pitting their skills against the likes of Ajax Cape Town, Santos, Vasco Da Gama, Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows, Bloemfontein Celtic, Kaizer Chiefs and defending champions SuperSport United. Local teams who have passed the arduous qualifying rounds are Baltic Rangers, Riverside Rangers, Old Mutual Academy, Mr. Price Parkhurst, Origan Spurs, Belhar Spurs, Milano United, City Lovers, Morgenster United, Robinvale Spurs, Ikapa Sporting, Cape United, Saltriver Blackpool and Hanover Park FC.

Christabell Kota, General Manager Metropolitan Group Empowerment and Corporate Affairs, stated that, “Metropolitan’s support of development soccer aims to enable our youth to participate in sports and learn the life skills that will inspire them to make their dreams come true.”

“We believe that by investing in soccer we are also investing directly in the community and do this by using local suppliers in areas for services such as catering, sound and entertainment,” she added.

Zuma, who has had an impressive season, will address players at the life skills component of the Metropolitan Premier Cup, a regular feature of Metropolitan-sponsored football events, which focuses on the holistic development of young players.

Topics covered will include HIV and Aids, “managing yourself as a brand” and financial literacy.

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