Battle lines drawn in quest to be number one

Captains of the competing Knockout Challenge Cup teams are pictured at the draw of this years tournament, which took place at the River Club, in Observatory earlier this month.

Picture: Backpagepix

Speaking at the official draw, at the River Club in Observatory earlier this month, Engen’s group sponsorship manager Brad Bergh urged the young players who participate in the tournament to use it as a stepping stone to launch their professional careers.

“This is where it all starts, and Engen is delighted to be a part of the development of football at grassroots level,” said Bergh.

Safa Cape Town vice-president, Bennet Bailey said the Knockout Challenge assisted in the development of players, and administrators.

“It is tournaments such as this that enable teams and players to test their ability to play at the highest level,” said Bailey.

The Engen Knockout Challenge ambassador for Cape Town, Brent Carelse, said he was proud to be associated with the tournament.

“I started my football career at a very young age right here in Cape Town. Succeeding to play at the highest level was always my goal,” said Carelse, who went on to star for Bafana Bafana Hellenic, Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundown and SuperSport United.

“I want to encourage all the players participating in this tournament to give of their best as it is tournaments such as the Knockout Challenge that provide the platform for your footballing talent, showing the scouts in attendance that you are the next star on the horizon.

“Make the most of each opportunity, work hard, love the game and stay focused. Your journey starts here.”

Meanwhile, current champions Old Mutual were drawn in Group Three, alongside Grassy Park United, Riverside Rangers and Fish Hoek FC.

The winners of the regional Knockout Challenge finals will battle it out in the national championships later this year to determine the overall champions.

Last year’s national finals was called off after the first round following the death of a player who died during a group match between Old Mutual and Bloemfontein.