Day 1 – Wed 23 March 2016
Cape Town was bathed in gentle early-autumn sunshine on Wednesday afternoon as the 28th edition of the Metropolitan U-19 Premier Cup kicked off at Erica Park in Belhar.
In the day’s main fixture, two of the best supported local teams, Ajax Cape Town and Milano United played out an exciting goalless draw. The Young Urban Warriors had the better of the exchanges but the defiant Milano defence proved resilient enough to protect their goal and maintain a clean sheet.
Earlier on, PPG Langa got their Group G campaign off to a flying start with a 3-0 win over Stephanians Ottery. Greenwood Athletic edged Cape United FC by a single goal to nil in Group C, and Group F contenders Avendale Atletico and Ikapa Sporting shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. In Group H, Old Mutual Academy beat Maties 2-1, while Atlantic Nacional overcame fellow debutants, Mighty United, 3-2. Following a long absence, Hellenic made an emphatic return to the tournament with an emphatic 5-0 triumph over MPCE Football Academy.
Metropolitan has sponsored the tournament since 1991 as part of a commitment to youth development through football and includes a life skills seminar that highlights and offers insight into how to cope with some of the challenges that the youngsters are likely to encounter during their transition to full adulthood with the main focus being financial education.
“The early signs suggest that we are in for a thrilling tournament. Metropolitan takes great pride in our association with the Premier Cup, which now extends into its 25th year. Our policy of commitment to grassroots football development at community level has reaped great rewards and has seen the Premier Cup grow from relatively humble beginnings into South Africa’s flagship Under-19 championship. For the opening day, the public turnout is most encouraging and we expect to see many more filling Erica Park over the next five days to enjoy the best young footballers in the country showcasing their talent,” said Llewellyn Allen, Head of Brand and Corporate Affairs: Metropolitan.
Play gets underway on Thursday, 24 March, at 12h30 and will see 2015 champions, Glendene United begin their defence of the title against Juventus of Beaufort West, as well as the likes of Amazulu, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bloemfontein Celtic, host club Bayhill United and guest competitors all the way from Wales, Swansea City, making their bow in the tournament.
The tournament will officially be launched on Friday evening at an entertaining opening ceremony, replete with spectacular fireworks display, commencing at 18h45, to be followed by the Group A clash between Glendene United and Harmony Sports Academy at 20h00.