Gauteng Future Champs attract a Mexican team


The Under-17 team of Mexican side Pachuca CF will be representing Central America at the 2011 Gauteng Future
Champions tournament to be held from March 28 to April 2.

Founded in 1901, Pachuca spent much of the first 100 years of their existence in relative obscurity, flitting between the top-flight and
second-tier in Mexican football. But the new century has brought a change of fortunes for the side and they are now amongst the most successful in

The club has won five national championships between 1999 and 2007, and were crowned champions of the CONCACAF region on four occasions by claiming the Champions League in 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Added to that, they won the 2006 Copa Sudamericana, the first Mexican side to win the South American

Known as The Gophers, the club is coached by Argentine Pablo Marini and count among their current crop of players Mexican internationals Paul
Aguilar, Leobardo López, Daniel Arreola and Carlos Gerardo Rodríguez.

The club has been lauded in recent times for their youth development programme and there are high hopes that they will produce a number of future
internationals in the coming years, with some of those players possibly on display at the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions. The club will be making their
debut in the tournament.

The 2011 Gauteng Future Champions, organised by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, is one of the most prestigious junior
competitions on the global football calendar and will feature four local sides competing against eight other entrants from around the world.

Nigerian side Heartland, Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven and Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro have already been confirmed as participants and they, along
with Pachuca, will be joined in the draw by South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns. A total of 12 teams, split
into four groups of three sides, compete in the tournament.

“Mexican football is synonymous with style and we look forward to welcoming Pachuca to the 2011 Gauteng Future Champions. The club has a wonderful
history and a superb development set-up, and there is no doubt a lot that we can learn from having them in our country. We can also relive memories of
the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in this very province, when South African and Mexico played to a thrilling draw,” said Mr Lebogang
Maile, MEC for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Pachuca Club de Futbol’s Vice-President, Andres Fassi said “In Pachuca we take our youth development program very seriously. At the moment more than
60% of our professional team is composed of players that were developed through our system. We firmly believe that a fundamental part of development
is attending international tournaments. For us this is the best opportunity to compete against the best in the world and benchmark our opposition. 

“We are all looking forward to attending 2011 Gauteng Future Champions and we will do so with our best effort and hopes of bringing the trophy back to
Mexico” concluded Fassi.

Pachuca Club de Fútbol are from the city of Pachuca, capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo. From the early 1800s, English miners came to the region to
work, and would later form Pachuca CF, bringing football to the city.

The last Gauteng Future Champions competition was held in January 2010 and was won by Chinese side Shandong Luneng, who beat French outfit Paris
Saint-Germain in the final.

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