The 26th edition of the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup kicked off in glorious sunshine at Erica Park in Belhar on the Cape Flats on Wednesday afternoon. In Group F, Hellenic marked their long overdue return to the event with a resounding 4-0 victory over Table View while Santos Academy beat Morgenster United 2-0. Masidlale opened their account in Group G with a 1-0 win over Beacon Spurs. Old Mutual Academy edged Robinvale Spurs 2-1 in Group E’s opening fixture.
By 19h15, a large crowd had gathered under floodlights to watch host club, Bayhill United play out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their Group B encounter.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan, took time out of his busy schedule to attend the first day of the tournament, he was very impressed with the standard of football on display.
“Safa is committed to a long term development programme, with a strong focus on the junior national teams and the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup is the perfect platform for us to pursue this course of action.” he said.
Prior to the opening matches, players, officials and dignitaries were treated to a delicious luncheon at the Belhar Sports Centre, hosted by the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Brand executive, Belinda Faulkner, addressed the audience, delivering an overview of Metropolitan’s involvement with the tournament over a quarter of a century and highlighting some of the positive effects it has had on the community over the years.
“Our relationship with this popular event dates back to 1990, and remains a key driver of Metropolitan’s commitment to effecting meaningful progress at grassroots level,” she said. “The strong sense of community orientation that has been the cornerstone of the very identity of the event is what really resonated with us. It speaks to Metropolitan’s conviction that a successful society is established on solid foundations and that investing in communities and creating conditions for young people to thrive will steer us all in the direction of a positive future.”
Councillor Antonio Van Der Rheede, chairman of the community services portfolio followed by expressing his delight at hosting this auspicious event in Cape Town and called on all visitors to enjoy the hospitality of this beautiful city.
At the conclusion of the day’s play, the competing squads attended Metropolitan’s Life Skills seminar at the Western Cape Sport School, where CSI experts enlightened them on a variety of topics, including HIV/Aids prevention, media skills and financial prudence, that will help them cope with demands of adulthood and potential fame and fortune.
Thursday’s action gets under way at 12h30, with a full programme throughout the day and ending off with visiting Kenyan side, Gallant Academy, facing local outfit Saints at 20h00.