The stage is set for under-19 Premier Cup

MZOXOLO BUDAZA

The much-anticipated draw for this year’s Metropolitan under-19 Premier Cup, set to kickoff in Belhar over the Easter Weekend, took place at the Sports Science Institute Of South Africa in Newlands last week and all the teams are ready to roll.

West Coast sides Hellenic and Atlantic Nacional found themselves in Group B and Group D, respectively.

The Greek Gods will lock horns with hosts Bayhill United, Jomo Cosmos and Mitchell’s Plain Clinic of Excellence.

Nacional, on the other hand, will fight it out with former champions Chippa, Bidvest Wits and newcomers, Mighty United.

Group A will see defending champions, Glendene United, alongside Harmony Academy, Southampton and Beaufort West’s Juventus.

Supersport United, Amazulu, debutants Cape United and Greenwood Athletic will battle it out in Group C.

Ajax, also former champions, will lock horns with Milano United, Shumba FC and Riverside FC in Group E.

Avendale Athletico will take on University of Pretoria, Bloemfontein Celtic and Ikapa in Group F.

United Kingdom side Swansea United are also back in the tournament for the second year in a row.

They are in Group G alongside Stephanian Ottery, who last took part in the tournament 20 years ago, Project Playground (PPG) Langa and Glaswegians. Old Mutual Academy will take on Zambian side Zesco United, Maties and Mamelodi Sundowns in Group H.

Speaking at the launch last week, presenter after presenter agreed that there was something special and consistent about the tournament. This, they agreed, was mostly because everyone involved takes immense pride in what they do. Everyone agreed that the tournament displays excellence on many levels.

Tournament director Patrick Williams said he had no doubt the sides that made it to this year’s tournament will make it even more special.

“Because of the huge interest shown, it is difficult to finalise the teams that take part in this tournament and that is why I am confident that those who have made it will deliver come Easter Weekend,” he said.

Roger Clayton, the tournament’s media liaison officer, agreed, saying it was good to see teams such as Stephanian Ottery back in the tournament after many years.

“We also have newcomers in the likes of Mighty United and Cape United making debuts. I wish them all the best,” he said.

Representing the sponsors, Llewellyn Allen said credit should go to those who make the tournament what it is because, he said, there is a lot of hard work and planning involved.

“Besides being the most watched sport, soccer is about discipline, drive and goals, and that’s where we get in,” he said.