Series still a success

2018-07-04 06:02
Teboho Mokoena, SuperSport United midfielder. Photo: Supplied

Teboho Mokoena, SuperSport United midfielder. Photo: Supplied

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This year’s Engen Knockout Challenge football tournament marks 16 years of staging.

It has proven to be a life-changing experience for many aspiring footballers over the past years, affording prospective stars a chance to showcase their talents.

The series is for u.17 boys and is staged annually in five cities, including, Bloemfontein, to continue unearthing talented players.

The Engen Knockout Challenge was launched in 2003. For many footballers, it has been the start of a wonderful journey to stardom and playing in the professional ranks. This aligns with Engen’s belief in the power of sport to change lives.

To date, the Engen Knockout Challenge has positively influenced the lives of over 30 000 young players across South Africa, of whom 181 have been contracted to play professionally, both locally and abroad.

Some of the players that have come through this tournament now play for professional clubs in the Premier Soccer League. Teboho Mokoena, playing for SuperSport United, and Tyron Mondi, with Coastal Carolina University in America, are the crop of the generation that came through in this competition. Mondi had a brief stint with Detroit City FC in America, having played for the University of the Free State before going abroad.

Mokoena was part of the Virginia Sport Academy, which boasted winners of the competition provincially.

Both Mokoena, from Bethlehem, and Mondi, from Bloemfontein, represented South Africa’s u.20 national team in international competitions.

This year’s edition of the competition is in full swing, having started in Cape Town on 22 June, followed by Port Elizabeth on 29 June.

It will culminate in the final later this year, when the winning clubs from the teams meet to battle for the national championship.

The Free State leg of the tournament is to be staged in Bloemfontein and was launched on 21 June at Grey College, which hosts the series.

The Free State leg will be from 20 to 22 July in Bloemfontein, followed by Johannesburg from 27 to 29 July.

The clubs competing for this year’s title are Virginia Sport Academy, Hodisa Technical High School, Bloemfontein Celtic, Royal Stars, Grey College, Navalsig, Thota Gauta Secondary, Roo Stars, Action Spar, Brebner High School and Questus FC, Jumentro FC, HTS Louis Botha, Junior Cosmo and Uptown Football Academy.

The prizes for the 2018 edition are as follows: Winner – R17 500; runner-up – R6 250; third place – R3 000; fourth place – R2 000 and fifth place – R1 500.

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