Eagles aim to conquer Stars

2018-01-17 06:00

The 2018 edition of the Nedbank Cup draw held in Johannesburg on Monday (15/01) saw a Free State derby between home-town clubs Super Eagles and Free State Stars announced.

Both sides are based in Bethlehem and will battle it out to secure a berth in the last-16 group stage of the championship at the Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem. Eagles, campaigning in the National First Division League (NFDL), make their debut in this contest.

Bloemfontein Celtic were pitted against double cham­pionship winners SuperSport United, who will be gunning to win the cup a third time in a row.

Phunya Sele Sele will host SuperSport at the Dr R.P. Molemela Stadium.

The draw saw Bloemfontein Young Tigers paired against NFDL team Richards Bay and will travel to the coastal town to play the match.

This is Tigers’ second appea­rance in the Nedbank Cup having managed to qualify for the last-32 group stage in 2013-’14.

Tigers have been lucky to reach the last-32 group of the championship more than twice in different years.

They managed to achieve this feat while in the NFDL under a different two-title sponsorship.

In 1998 Tigers managed to reach the semi-final of the Bobsave Super Bowl and the quarterfinal of the Absa Cup in 2005-’06.

This year there is over R20 million up for grabs in overall prize money with the winner guaranteed R7 million while all lower league teams, Tigers included, have qualified to receive R100 000 in prize money.

The participation fee for the 16 clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is R250 000.

Of the 32 teams now left in the tournament that will make it through to the last-16 group knockout stage of the championship, are guaranteed a whopping amount of R200 000 each.

This year’s is the 11th edition of the South Africa’s premier cup championship having celebrated a ten-year milestone of the sponsorship this just-ended year of 2017.

The competition gives amateur clubs a once in a lifetime shot at glory to face off against teams in the big league and thus it is dubbed David versus Goliath.

Over the years, it has seen minnow teams dethroning big giants.

  • The 2018 edition marks a new chapter for the sponsor and the PSL after the two parties extended their partnership for another five years. Exciting is that the partnership also sees the continuation of The Ke Yona Team Search, which has been an integral part of the Nedbank Cup for the past five years.

Registration for this is officially launched and open and is for aspiring hopefuls aged from 18 to 23.

  • The Ke Yona Team Search is a nationwide talent search programme that has seen over 25 previously unknown players securing professional contracts after being scouted by the highly acclaimed Ke Yona coaches. To register, interested players must simply dial *120* 539662# (*120*KEYONA#).

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