Cape Town - Another fierce battle to be crowned Engen Knockout Challenge champions for the Eastern Cape looms large and will draw leading under-17 teams from across the province to Gelvandale in Port Elizabeth from 26-28 June.
Now in its 12th year, the Engen Knockout Challenge will again be hosted by Glenville Celtic.
A total of 48 matches will be staged over the two days, kicking off with a round-robin phase before moving on to knock-out in the latter stages.
This year’s event will feature teams from Addo and one each from East London, Grahamstown and Thornhill. Furthermore, with Chippa United now based in Port Elizabeth, an U-17 team from the PSL outfit will make their debut in this year’s tournament.
As organisers of the event, Glenville have an automatic berth. The nine remaining teams are from the Local Football Associations (LFA) affiliated to Safa-Nelson Mandela Bay. All participants will be eager to dethrone reigning champions PE Sundowns, who will be back for the 2015 event.
In past years, participation in the tournament was by invitation only, says Glenville chairman Victor Burton.
"In a deviation from this we have asked Safa-NMB to nominate teams who must be league champions in their LFAs or have won a competition," said Burton
The tournament has grown substantially in stature since inception in 2003, says Brad Bergh, Engen’s Group Sponsorship Manager.
“Engen is really proud of the contribution the tournament has made to young talent across South Africa, many of whom are now living their dreams, playing in the Premier Soccer League," Bergh said.
The draw for the tournament will take place in PE on June 10th at the John Nance Building in Gelvandale.
"We started with the registration process over a week ago, checking ages and personal details, and everything is on track for the launch and draw next Wednesday,” adds Burton.