THE FACT that only one junior team from the Premier Soccer League is represented is great yet a serious concern, says SuperSport CE Stan Matthews.
He was addressing guests at the Engen Champ of Champs finals to be played in Pretoria.
“It shows other teams are not sleeping but doing their homework on big teams. This is evident to the sides that have qualified for the finals ,“ he said.
Six under 17 teams have qualified for the fourth edition of the competition to be played in October from 5 to 8 2017 at University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre.
Farouk Khan’s side Stars of Africa (Jozi) open their game against Old Mutual (CT) in a North v South battle.
Tournament debutants Durban FC and Shining Stars kick-off their 2017 Engen Champ of Champs challenge against SuperSport United and Virginia Academy respectively to complete the first round of games.
“Today we are witnessing the next generation of football stars being groomed to play at the highest level.
“To the six captains, I want to say to you don’t get caught up in the trappings of the beautiful game. Go back to your teams, show your leadership qualities, lead by example, work hard and I can guarantee you that you will succeed in all you do,” said Matthews.
Engen Group Sponsorship Manager Brad Bergh, said the company celebrated the success of the 14th edition of the Engen Knockout Challenge in 2017 and were also proud to be staging Engen Champ of Champs for the fourth consecutive year.
“It is important for us at Engen to reinforce our support for youth football and the development of young talent, and it makes us proud to know that the journey for many promising young football players started at the Engen Knockout Challenge,” said Bergh.
“We are proud to play a role in helping these players reach the highest level of professional football both at home and abroad.
“I urge all the aspiring players to use this platform as a stepping stone to the very top. Your Journey Starts Here”, he said.
Also added to the tourney is a game between Jabu Mahlangu XI versus Thabo September XI.