U19 championships draw conducted in Jozi

The U19 Championships draw was conducted in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 in which nine provincial sides and three invited Premier Soccer League (PSL) sides will battle it out for honours in Bloemfontein.

The three PSL clubs that have been invited to the championships are Bloemfontein Celtic, Supersport United and Ajax Cape Town.

The matches will be played at Clive Solomon Stadium, Bloemfontein from 27 April to 1 May 2014.

The three PSL clubs have been placed in different Groups. SuperSport United will head Group A where they will battle it out against Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape while Group B comprises of Bloemfontein Celtic, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. Group C is made up of Ajax Cape Town, Northern Cape, North West and Free State.

SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan who presided over the draw underscored the importance of having competitive junior national teams adding that this can only be achieved through constant regular competitions.

“Junior competitions are the foundation of competitive national teams hence we are ploughing huge resources into these tournaments. We want all of our national teams to return to winning ways in the near future and this can only be achieved through strong junior competitions.

“We recently had the U17 tournament which was a resounding success and we are looking forward to an exciting U19 tournament in Bloemfontein,” said the SAFA President.

The tournament will be bankrolled by Grand Parade Investments and their subsidiary Burger King.

GPI executive director, Alex Abercrombie said his company wanted to invest into the future hence its association with youth football development.

“We want to have serious development structures that will feed into our national teams; that way you are assured of constant talent flowing into our national teams,” said Abercrombie.

Only players born on or after 1 January 1996 qualify to participate in the tournament.