Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Excitement is building as the countdown to the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup enters its final phase.

There is less than a month to go before the 18 teams that have qualified to play in the culminating stage of Africa’s biggest schools football competition, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, travel to Soshanguve for a showdown that could result in some significant prize money for their teams.

The nine provincial champions, and the nine second-placed teams, will be in action at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve from October 6 to 9 and the overall winners will walk away with a whopping R1 million in funding for legacy projects at their school. The school that comes 2nd wins R600 000, 3rd gets R500 000 and 4th place finisher gets R400 000.  Each of the provincial winners have already received R100 000 for their efforts and the national finals give the runners-up the chance to also win some money.

The consensus is that this year’s competition is wide open, following the elimination of the defending champions, Clapham High School at the provincial playoff stage.

That said, there are a number of schools who have been to the nationals many times before and who have the experience needed to go all the way. Limpopo’s Benny's Sports Academy are there for 4th time; Mondale have won the Western Cape title for the second year in a row; and perennial Free State contenders Harmony, the most successful school in the competition (they have won R1.7 million in all) are back for the 6th year in a row.

Gauteng will be sending a newcomer to the tournament in Pretoria’s Holy Trinity High School. Although it’s all new for the school, that’s not the case for the players, however. Most of them belong to the Supersport United Academy which is now located at the school and they played in the finals last year for Rosina Sedibane Sports School.

Holy Trinity’s success on debut is contrasted by AJ Ferreira Secondary School from Upington in the Northern Cape who have been competing in the competition for years and who have qualified for the national finals for the first time.

The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals is an ideal opportunity for the clubs to spot talent and scouts from PSL clubs will be there in force to look for players to boost their youth academies. Mamelodi Sundowns will again be selecting a team of top players who will be offered a trip to Chloorkop to participate in a coaching clinic.

The Soshanguve local government has come to the party and the finals promise to be a great occasion. Fans will be bussed in to watch the action and co-sponsors, The Motsepe Foundation, will be bringing in top music groups from around the country to provide live entertainment.

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·           The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
   Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·           The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·           The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
·           The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

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