Engen Knockout kicks off in Jozi!

Thulani Serero, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Ronwen Williams, Keagan Dolly, Sameehg Doutie, Katlego Pule, Letsie Koapeng and 2013 tournament ambassador, Asive Langwe, are some of the current professional footballers that have played in this tournament before.

The tournament, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, will see an exciting array of line ups, which will pit PSL club academies against independent clubs.

The Gauteng leg of Engen Knockout Challenge 2013 will take place on the weekend of 28-30 June at Marks Park.

The tournament does not only offer youngsters the chance to impress, but is also an opportunity for young coaches, most of whom are former professional players, to hone their tactical acumen.

The event, which is being hosted by Bidvest Wits University, will see interesting clashes early on in the group stages. Hosts Wits have been grouped alongside academy side Bidvest Wits, but another academic institution in the mould of the University of Pretoria will join those teams.

Defending champions the School of Excellence have been handed a less difficult draw after being grouped with Mpumalanga Black Aces, Diambars and Rosina Sedibane School.

There will be a Soweto derby tussle when Moroka Swallows, Kaizer Chiefs and the junior club of Bafana Bafana star Thulani Serero – Senaoane Gunners – when they meet in the group phases.

Tshwane giants Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United are also scheduled to meet.

SuperSport, Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits and School of Excellence have all won the tournament at some point in the last decade.

Langwe, who currently plays for PSL side Bidvest Wits, has acknowledged the responsibility that comes with being this year’s ambassador but has also given the competing youngsters some warm words of advice.

“When I first participated in this tournament I was very young,” said the winger.

“We had just opened the Bidvest Wits academy in 2009 and the team was just six months old, but the team spirit we had enabled us to go play in the final which we lost, but that loss taught us a lot.

“We were losers on the day but we have ended up as winners in life. Some players who were my teammates in that under-17 team are currently my teammates in the first team at Wits.

“Thanks to Engen and the tournament organisers for such a good initiative that exposes young players to scouts and the public at large, and also to competitive football.

“I wanted to play in the tournament again in 2010 to rectify the loss of 2009 in the final, but unfortunately by then I had already been called up to the first team.

“It’s thanks to this tournament that I was able to impress the Bidvest Wits technical team and some other PSL clubs, which wanted to sign me at the time, but I remained loyal.”

The Gauteng draw for the tournament is as follows:
Group A: Wits University, Germiston City, University of Pretoria, Bidvest Wits
Group B: School of Excellence, Diambars, Rosina Sedibane School, MP Black Aces
Group C: Moroka Swallows, Diepsloot Arsenal, Senaoane Gunners, Kaizer Chiefs
Group D: Mamelodi Sundowns, Soweto Select, SuperSport United, SSS

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