The draw for the Port Elizabeth leg of the 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge took place on Tuesday 27 June at the Glenville Celtic FC Clubhouse in Gelvandale. The eagerly anticipated tournament takes place from 7 to 9 July, 2017 at the Glenville Celtic Sports Complex.
The Port Elizabeth football fraternity were out in force for the draw. In attendance were SAFA NMB President, Monde Mhletywa; NAFA President, Clive Killian; Engen Knockout Challenge Port Elizabeth Tournament Director, Victor Burton; and the 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge Port Elizabeth Ambassador, Denwin Farmer.
Coaches of participating teams from as far afield as Umtata, as well as from Grahamstown were also present to witness the event and to discover who their opponents are in the group stages of the preeminent youth football event.
Speaking at the draw, Engen’s CSI Coordinator for the Eastern Cape, Cindy Bunde, 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. The Engen Knockout Challenge tournament has produced a number of players who have gone on to represent South Africa in the under-17 and under-20 FIFA World Cup tournaments. This year it’s your turn to attract the attention of the scouts and selectors present at the tournament. Your journey starts here!” said Bunde.
SAFA NMB President, Monde Mhletywa lauded Engen’s commitment to grassroots football and for hosting the tournament in Port Elizabeth.
“Sport plays an important role in shaping the future of our young people. That’s why SAFA NMB has embarked on an integrated development program for local coaches. By improving the skills of our coaches we in-turn improve the skills of the players, thus raising the quality of football played on the Eastern Cape,” said Mhletywa.
NAFA President, Clive Killian said: “Not only has Engen, via the Engen Knockout Challenge, assisted in the development of our local players, local football administrators have also benefited by being involved in the organisation of a major tournament like the Engen Knockout Challenge.”
The Engen Knockout Challenge Ambassador for Port Elizabeth, Denwin Farmer of SuperSport United said he was proud to be associated with the tournament.
“I started my football career as a five year old right here at Glenville Celtic. Succeeding to play at the highest level was always my goal,” said Farmer.
“From a young age, I realised that to succeed at the highest level you have to work harder than the other players in your team. Hard work, determination, perseverance and discipline are the attributes of the best professional players.
Added Farmer: “I want to encourage all the players participating in this tournament to give of their best as it is tournaments such as the Engen 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 and stay focussed. Your journey starts here!”
Reigning Engen Knockout Challenge Port Elizabeth Champions, Chippa United were drawn in Group Four, alongside Young Ideas, Riverside and Thornhill United.
The groups are as follows: –
Group 1 – Glenville Celtic, Mabayibone Strikers, Fast XI, St Georges
Group 2 – Park United, Friendly City, City Strikers and PE Sundowns
Group 3 – Saints, Zwide Pirates, City Pirates, Shining Stars
Group 4 – Chippa United, Young Ideas, Riverside, Thornhill United
Scouts from clubs across South Africa and abroad, who over the years have been seen at the Engen Knockout Challenge tournaments looking to unearth the next star player, are again expected to be in attendance.
The winners of the regional Engen Knockout Challenge events will battle it out in the Engen Champ of Champs later in the year to determine the overall national champions.
The dates for the Engen Knockout Challenge are as follows:
- Date: 30 June – 02 July 2017
- Venue: Parow Park, Vasco
- Host Club: Vasco da Gama
- Date: 07 – 09 July 2017
- Venue: Glenville Celtic Sports Complex, Gelvandale
- Host Club: Glenville Celtic
- Date: 14 – 16 July 2017
- Venue: Moses Mabhida Sports Complex, Durban
- Host Club: Amazulu FC
- Date: 28 – 30 July 2017
- Venue: Grey College Sports Complex, Bloemfontein
- Host Club: Grey College
- Date: 04 – 06 Aug 2017
- Venue: Marks Park Sports Complex,
- Host Club: Wits AFC
For the players participating in the 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge, the message is clear – “Your Journey Starts Here”!
#EKOC2017, #YourJourneyStartsHere and #EngenSoccer
For more information visit: www.engen.co.za