The breeding ground of legends: Kicking off the 2016 Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup
2 March 2016, Cape Town: Wednesday 2 March signalled the draw of the 2016 Metropolitan Premier Cup, Africa’s premier youth soccer tournament and what is unofficially considered the ‘breeding ground of SA’s future soccer stars’.
The tournament takes place over Easter weekend at Erica Park, Belhar from 23 – 28 March, with the Grand Opening ceremony on Friday 25 March. The tournament draw, which took place earlier this evening at the Sports Science Institute in Newlands, saw 18 Cape sides, including two multiple former winners in Ajax Cape Town and Hellenic, joined in the mix by 14 top notch teams from around SA and abroad.
As per this evening’s draw, the 2016 tournament schedule is as follows:
2016 Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup full draw:
- Glendene United
- Harmony Sports Academy
- Southampton FC
- Juventus (Beaufort West)
- Bayhill United
- Jomo Cosmos
- MPCE Football Academy
- SuperSport United
- Cape United
- Greenwood Athletic
- Bidvest Wits
- Chippa United
- Atlantic Nacional
- Mighty United
- Ajax Cape Town
- Riverside FC
- Milano United
- University of Pretoria
- Bloemfontein Celtic
- Avendale Athletico
- iKapa Sporting
- Swansea City
- Stephanian Ottery
- PPG Langa
- Mamelodi Sundowns
- Zesco United
- Old Mutual Academy
- Stellenbosch University
With Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits (both former MPC champions) sending the cream of their youngsters to take part alongside Amazulu, Bloemfontein Celtic, University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos, the reigning Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup champions Glendene from Lansdowne will have their work cut out to defend their crown. The international guest teams this year are Swansea City from Wales and Zambia’s Zesco FC.
The Metropolitan Premier Cup was first held in 1989 and has become a significant showcase for young footballing talent. This is played out in front of crowds in excess of 25 000, which always include scouts looking for the stars of tomorrow.
Benni McCarthy, Matthew Booth, Nasief Morris, Moneeb Josephs, Thulani Serero and Rivaldo Coetzee are just some of the famous names of the local game who gained crucial experience and exposure in the MPC. Last year’s player of the tournament, Mihlali Mayambela, was signed after the tournament by a club in Sweden.
Llewellyn Allen, Head of Brand at Metropolitan, describes MPC as “a massive community event as well as a world-renowned youth football festival and something Metropolitan is extremely proud to have been a big part of for more than twenty years.”
Tournament director PJ Williams said that demand for places in the MPC was extremely high and the local Cape clubs who made it into the final tournament draw deserved congratulations for getting through the tough qualification rounds.
Williams, who has been involved in the tournament since its inception, has no doubts that this year’s MPC line-up is one of the best ever and that the finals will “deliver an exciting Easter weekend of action for the SA footballing community”.
There is a total of R105 000 in prize money up for grabs at the 2016 Metropolitan Premier Cup.
ABOUT THE METROPOLITAN PREMIER CUP:
The Metropolitan Premier Cup is the Africa’s premier youth soccer tournament. It began as an under 19 knock-out competition known as the Bayhill Cup, and has steadily grown into one of the world’s most prestigious junior tournaments.
The inaugural tournament was held at the Rocklands Sports Ground in Mitchells Plain and was won by Matroosfontein. The first team from outside of the Western Cape to participate in the tournament was Park United who hailed from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The Manchester School side, who came all the way from England, was the first international team to enter way back in 2001.
In 1995, Metropolitan took over the sponsorship and the tournament was renamed the Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup.
On behalf of Metropolitan:
Ogilvy Public Relations Cape Town
T +27 21 467 1133