The Friendly City will serve as the backdrop for one of the country’s top U15 football tournaments. The 2018 COPA Coca-Cola National Finals will be played at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth from 27–29 September 2018.
The 2018 edition of the COPA Coca-Cola tournament has reached a thrilling end with the National Finals coming after an intense regional and the recently concluded Provincial Finals phase, in which the country’s best U15 schools’ sides will battle against each other to determine the 2018 South African champions.
“The COPA Coca-Cola tournament continues to be a great success as it has remained the number one destination to celebrate school football and our future heroes. Each year the standard of football is raised, and this year was no different which bodes well for the development of football in the country. We expect another action-packed National Finals contest as the best meet the best,” said Puso Makume, Sponsorship Manager Coca-Cola Africa.
“We urge local scouts to come out and witness these young people express their talent during this tournament synonymous globally with developing and unearthing future footballing stars”, added Makume.
All eyes will be on reigning champions, Clapham High School who will be hoping to defend their title after lifting the coveted COPA Coca-Cola National Finals trophy in Bloemfontein last year. Led by former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Isaac Shai, the reigning champions who are well known for producing national team players such as SA U20 captain, Khulekani Kubheka and SA U17 international, Thando Buthelezi will be the team to beat in Port Elizabeth.
Interestingly, this year’s COPA Coca-Cola National Finals will see all provinces, with the exception of Gauteng (Clapham High School) being represented by new schools – something that will definitely excite the COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars scouts who will be present throughout the National Finals to hand pick players that will form part of the COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars camp in Pretoria next month.
Another school to look out for will be KwaZulu-Natal’s Glenwood High School from Durban. The AmaZulu FC academy school caused an upset at the KZN COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals when they ousted JL Dube High School to secure the rights to represent their province in PE.
Benny’s Sports Academy from the Limpopo province who have become regular features at the COPA Coca-Cola National Finals narrowly missed out on the opportunity to represent their province this year when they were edged by newly crowned Limpopo champions, Bela Bela High School.
With all the attention naturally being on tournament favourites such as Clapham and Glenwood High School, Provincial Finalists from the rest of the country have all been hard at work since being crowned champions in their respective provinces and will certainly put up an equally good showing in the friendly city.
Mandla ‘Shoes’ Mazibuko, the President of SA Schools Football Association said, “Coca-Cola has been our valued partner in unearthing grassroot football players with great potential and have proven over the years to be a reputable contributor to the legacy of school football in our country.
“We are truly honoured and privileged to have them be part of this journey of instilling critical life skills and sportsmanship to the boys. We are hopeful that with our continued partnership, we will see more boys come from the COPA Coca-Cola u-15 tournament. SASFA wishes all the Provincial Teams taking part in the National Finals the best of luck.”
School teams that will participate in the 2018 COPA Coca-Cola National Finals:
|Eastern Cape||Malcomess Secondary School|
|Northern Cape||Ikekeletso Technical High School|
|Western Cape||Kuyakhanya Primary School|
|Gauteng||Clapham High School|
|North West||Seiphemelo High School|
|KwaZulu Natal||Glenwood High School|
|Free State||Moroka High School|
|Limpopo||Bela Bela High School|
|Mpumalanga||KI Thwala High School|
COPA Coca-Cola National Finals Dates:
|26-29 September||Port Elizabeth||Wolfson Stadium|