Metropolitan under 19 Premier Cup delivers some nail-biting encounters on day 1
The Metropolitan under 19 Premier Cup kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at Erica Park in Belhar on the Cape Flats, marking the 25th anniversary of the most prestigious under19 football tournament in South Africa. The competition runs from 27 March to 1 April and includes teams from around the country as well as a guest team from Nigeria.
Having emerged from humble beginnings as the Bayhill Cup back in 1989, since the advent of Metropolitan sponsorship two years later, the Metropolitan Premier Cup has proven to be a rich breeding ground for some of our most talented international stars, including Benni McCarthy, Steven Pienaar, and more recently Thulani Serero, Syanda Xulu and Ayanda Patosi.
The opening day involved only local Western Cape teams, with Vasco Da Gama and Cape Town All-Stars playing to a 1-1 draw in Group F, while Masidlale defeated Evertonians 1-0 in their Group C clash. In Group A, Bothasig edged RC Athletico by a single goal to nil and Morgenster United beat Hanover Park, 2-0. In Group E’s opening game, Atlantis Leeds won 2-1 against Belhar Spurs and ASD Cape Town, came out on top against Old Mutual Academy , 3-0, to complete the day’s programme.
“It is a truly momentous occasion to celebrate a quarter of a century of what began as the Bayhill Cup all those years ago and it is largely thanks to the investment of our valued partners, Metropolitan that the event has grown from humble beginnings into the flagship youth tournament in the country. Without their commitment to development at grassroots level, we would never be where we are today,” said tournament director, P.J. Williams.
“Metropolitan feels very proud to have played its part in the evolution of this competition. The importance of youth development can never be overstated and we have endeavoured to lay a platform for the young football talent in South Africa to be nurtured to full maturity,” added Metropolitan brand executive, Belinda Faulkner.
As part of Metropolitan’s policy of youth development through football, the players attended a life skills symposium aimed at equipping them to deal with some of the challenges of entering adulthood. Metropolitan CSI specialists conducted an interactive session that covered a diversity of subjects, including HIV/AIDS prevention, media skills and financial responsibility.
The action continues on Thursday, running from 12h30 until 21h30, as the remaining participants from around the country take their bows in the quest to be crowned under-19 club champions for 2013.