Ajax Cape Town to Defend Their Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup This Easter

Last night, 18 March, saw the launch of the 26th edition of the Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup in Cape Town. Bayhill United founded the tournament and some 32 teams from around the country and the world take part.

The tournament takes place annually over Easter weekend. Because of how big the tournament has become, it attracts coaches, scouts and different technical experts from as far as Europe and USA.

The draw of the first phase of the tournament took place at the Cape Town Civic Centre. The 2014 participants are Super Sport United (2010) champions, Mpumalanga Black Aces (PSL), Senaone Gunners (Gauteng), Kaizer Cheifs (PSL), Biest Wits (2003 champions), Mamelodi Sundowns (2009), Berea Albion (Gauteng), School of Excellence (Gauteng), Ethekwini Coastal Academy (KZN), Harmony Sports Academy (Free State), Caledonian Football Club (PE), University of Pretoria (Gauteng), Saints Football Club (PE), Amazulu (KZN). The local teams are made up of Ajax Cape Town (2004, 2005, 2008, 2013 champions), Bayhill United (hosts), Beacon Spurs, Milano United, Morgenster United, Robinvale Spurs, Hellenic, ASD Cape Town, Bishop Lavis, Vasco da Gama, Old Mutual Academy. Santos Academy, Bellstar United, Bluedowns Spurs, Glendene United, Masidlale and Beau West City.

This year’s foreign team is the Gallant Soccer Academy from Kenya, participating for the first time.

The winners of the tournament will receive R35,000 prize money in addition to the trophy and runners up get R20,000. Like any big soccer cup the player of the tournament and top goal scorer will walk away with R3000 and R2000 respectively for their achievements.

The premier cup boasts a number of well known South African soccer players that have played in the tournament. Names such as Benni McCarthy, Nassief Morris, Mathew Booth, Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero, Daine Klate and Ayanda Patosi to mention but a few.

The disappointments of the national team have been blamed on the lack of proper development structures.

Metropolitan’s Belinda Faulkner says, “Metropolitan has always held a broader perception of the situation, recognising the longer term benefits of providing the resources to develop young talent with the view to seeing them become the stars of tomorrow. South Africa has a wealth of potential and we believe in committing these resources where they are needed most in order to maximise the fulfilment of that potential.”

The tournament is not only about soccer, but issues that the young players may face off the field as well. Programmes such as Life Skills which include HIVAIDS awareness, financial responsibility, brand value, and how to deal with the media are on offer for the youngsters.

Tournament director PJ Williams says, “The people pour in year after year to watch the best young players from all over the country giving it everything they’ve got. The vibe is warm and friendly and in what is now more than a quarter of a century, we have a virtually unblemished record in relation to crowd misbehaviour and poor sportsmanship. It is deeply satisfying to send them home happy and looking forward to coming back the next year.”

The 2014 Metropolitan Premier Cup will kick off at Erica Park, Belhar on Wednesday 16 April and finish on Monday 21 April.

The groups are as follows:

GROUP A 1. Ajax Cape Town 2. School of Excellence 3. ASD Cape Town 4. Beau West City

GROUP B 1. Bay Hill United 2. Harmony Academy 3. Caledonians 4. Glendene United

GROUP C 1. Biest Wits 2. Amazulu 3. Senaone Gunners 4. Bellstar United

GROUP D 1. Supersport United 2. Berea Albion 3. Ethekwini Academy 4. Blue Down Spurs

GROUP E 1. University of Pretoria 2. Vasco Da Gama 3. Old Mutual Academy 4. Robinvale Spurs

GROUP F 1. MP Black Aces 2. Santos Academy 3. Hellenic 4. Morgenster United

GROUP G 1. Kaizer Chiefs 2. Milano United 3. Beacon Spurs 4. Masidlale

GROUP H 1. Mamelodi Sundowns 2. Gallant Academy (Kenya) 3. Bishop Lavis 4. Saints

Source : GroundUp