THE seventh edition of the Nedbank Cup was launched this evening in Johannesburg whereby Nedbank re-affirmed its ongoing commitment to South African football and the communities it serves.
Known as South Africa’s own FA Cup, the tournament’s David and Goliath metaphor sees Mzansi’s lower division teams take a shot at football glory by tackling the giants and more established Premier Division clubs.
According to Sydney Mbhele, Divisional Executive for Group Marketing at Nedbank, the tournament is in line with the bank’s vision of enabling all South Africans to “Make Things Happen”.
The biggest winners are always the fans, who get to see some spectacular football as their teams go on the hunt for the coveted trophy while their communities benefit through the Goals4Goals campaign in partnership with the Sports Trust. For every goal scored during this year’s tournament, Nedbank will donate R 10 000 towards the building of a R 1 million multi-purpose sport court for a school in the country. . Last year, Sinamavu Primary School in KwaZulu Natal were the lucky recipients of the sport facility which encourages and enables children to excel in various sport codes.
PSL CEO Brand de Villiers: “At the heart of Nedbank’s relationship with the PSL is a genuine desire to create not only memories but also to give an opportunity to amateur clubs to live their dreams and compete against top professional clubs. This has laid a foundation for a sustainable legacy that will continue to benefit generations. I’m confident 2013/14 Nedbank Cup will be a beautiful spectacle and will continue to inspire and thrill South Africans.”
An additional 100 schools across the country will receive soccer kits and training equipment worth R 1 million. The top goal scorer in each round of the tournament will win R10 000 for himself, plus R10 000 and a soccer kit for a school of his choice anywhere in South Africa.
As if that’s not enough, the award winning Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search – another innovation introduced by Nedbank last year – will also make a comeback this year. As witnessed in 2013, Nedbank will once again call on amateur soccer players from all walks life to try out for the Nedbank Ke Yona team that will eventually take on the 2014 Nedbank Cup winners and prove that with the right support; anyone can be extraordinary.
“Nobody else has come up with an initiative quite like this, so well done to Nedbank for having the vision to make this happen. It is something that players from all over the country look out for, because we know it is not easy to make it into the professional ranks. I am sure after the game against Kaizer Chiefs there will be guys who will get a contract in the PSL.” said Kyle Davies; left back for 2013 Nedbank Ke Yona Team who, along with eight other players have secured contracts with PSL teams.
Remaining true to its core business and its goal of being a bank for all; the bank will also continue to utilise the Nedbank Cup platform as a vehicle to further connect with the consumers and to educate South Africans on various financial matters.
“One of our objectives is to be a bank for all South Africans and football has proven to be a great platform to connect with the communities we serve. The bank will continue to make a positive contribution towards empowering football stars and communities with the skills and resources they need to make things happen.” concluded Mbhele.
The Nedbank Cup kicks-off this Friday at Athlone Stadium where Ajax Cape Town welcomes Mamelodi Sundowns at 8pm while FC Buffalo entertaining FC Cape Town at the Jan Smuts Stadium on the same night.
Action continues on Saturday with eight matches taking place at various venues across the country which will see Orlando Pirates facing the once feared side, Thanda Royal Zulu away at Umhlathuze Sports Complex at 3pm with University of Pretoria welcoming neighbours SuperSport United at the Tuks Stadium in the Tshwane derby also at 3pm.
The rest of the of the Nedbank Cup’s last 32 fixtures are as follows:
Saturday (February 22): Free State Stars v Witbank Spurs (Goble Park), AmaBEE v BidVest Wits (Makhulong), Platinum Stars v Great North FC (Royal Bafokeng), Golden Arrows v Polokwane City (King Zwelithini, 6pm), Maritzburg United v Mpumalanga Black Aces (Harry Gwala, 8.15pm), Moroka Swallows v Mbombela United (Dobsonville, 8.15pm)
Sunday (February 22): Black Leopards v Kaizer Chiefs (Peter Mokaba), Milano United v Bloemfontein Celtic (Wynberg Military), United FC V AmaZulu (Olympia), Mainstay United v African Warriors (Mxolisi Bicky Jacobs)
Wedneday (February 26): University of Stellenbosch v Bloemfontein Young Tigers (Coetzenberg, 7.30pm), Santos v Gamalakhe United (Athlone, 7.30pm). All matches starts at 3pm, unless stated.