AFTER reaching out to 340 schools with 5780 young football players getting active, the stage is finally set for the 2014 COPA Coca-Cola® U15 Tournament National Finals. This exciting tournament is scheduled to commence on October 17-October 17 at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban.
The qualified top nine schools have been waiting in anticipation to represent their provinces in this prestigious three day tournament, where they will go head to head at the chance to be crowned the champions of South Africa.
After hundreds of preliminary matches and an exciting round of provincial matches, the teams have shown great sportsmanship and hunger for victory.
“The COPA Coca-Cola® is synonymous with unearthing talent and fuelling South African football with future football stars. We are confident that this year’s participants will need no extra motivation to compete at their best for the duration of the tournament,” said Fetsi Mbele, Coca-Cola® South Africa, Marketing Assets Manager.
The teams that will be going head to head at the three day COPA Coca-Cola® National Finals are:
1. Clapham High School from Pretoria will be representing Gauteng. The school defeated Rosina Sedibane Modiba 4-0 in their provincial finals last month to cement their position as Gauteng’s best this season.
1. Robinvale Secondary School from Atlantis in Cape Town will represent the Western Cape and make a return to the national finals having also competed in 2012.
1. Hoërskool SA Van Wyk from the Northern Cape, who won their first ever trophy when they lifted their provincial title.
1. Tshedimosetso Secondary School will represent the North West, after their close win against Mobelatsi Secondary School in the provincial finals.
1. Another side who also appeared in the 2012 national finals is HTS Louis Botha from Bloemfontein in the Free State, who will have another go at winning the overall title of champion school.
1. Mpumalanga will be represented by Thlavekisa Secondary School after they finished top of the log in the provincial finals played in Witbank in August.
1. One side that needs no introduction is the Benny’s Care Academy from Limpopo, who were crowned provincial winners for the sixth time in succession.
1. From the Eastern Cape, Sikhulile Senior Secondary School emerged top in their provincial finals and hopes to use all that experience to lift the trophy this year.
1. The home province of KwaZulu-Natal will be represented by Silindokuhle Secondary School from Ladysmith after they defeated Busani High School of UMzinyathi Region at the provincial finals.
President of the South African Schools Football Association (SAFSA), Mandla ‘Shoes’ Mazibuko congratulated the schools that made the cut for the finals. “The teams will carry the pride and hopes of their provinces during this annual football extravaganza,” he exclaimed.
“Every year the standard is raised and that is promising for our football as a country. I have no doubt the national finals will be fiercely contested and would like to wish all of the competing teams the very best of luck over the three days,” says Mazibuko.
“At Coca-Cola® we strive to give young people the opportunity to express their talent and the COPA Coca-Cola tournament is an important driver of that. We encourage young stars to live an active and healthy lifestyle and chase their dreams in the process,” adds Mbele.
COPA Coca-Cola® scouts will also be on the lookout for the best talent on show at the King Zwelithini stadium for the exciting upcoming COPA Coca-Cola® Camp in 2015.
The selected players will have an opportunity to spend a week amongst their peers from other countries at the COPA Coca-Cola® Camp.
The winning school of the 2014 COPA Coca-Cola® Football Tournament will walk away with the honour of being named the 2014 COPA Champion as well as R60 000 to be used towards the development of their school’s educational or sporting facilities.
The second and third place winners will also receive R30 000 and R25000 respectively.