The Solar U-17 Youth Cup is being put together by the provincial government and is sponsored by Kathu Solar Park, Sishen Solar Facility and Loago Sports and Economic Developments Solutions in association with SAFA’s partners LaLiga.
The main aim of this ground-breaking tournament is for the Northern Cape to produce top players who will feature among big clubs in the country and ultimately make it into various national teams.
“This is a huge tournament whose aim is to make sure that the Northern Cape produces top quality players. This is the beginning of this journey and there is no better way to do so than having an all encompassing junior tournament,” said tournament organiser Willy Motlogelwa.
Thirty-two teams will kick off the games in the Pixley Ka Seme Region before moving to JTG Region for the last-eight, while the semi-finals and finals will take place at Gaeleshewe Stadium in Kimberley.
The launch and draw for the tournament takes place on Thursday, June 7 in Kimberley.
Kathu Solar project director Mark Janick said the tournament will go a long way to disapprove the notion that the Northern Cape only focuses on cricket and rugby.
“This tournament is going to unearth massive talent in this province. We have seen in recent times that more and more youth are turning to playing football ahead of other codes hence our partnership in sponsoring this project,” said Janick.
“Football, because of its teamwork, encourages discipline. It helps kids to remain focused and move away from being engaged in anti-social behaviour. We are happy in being involved with this tournament; it is a win-win for everyone,” added Janick.
LaLiga’s Africa director Antonio Barradas said as a partner of SAFA they were always happy to work with those who want to unearth and develop talent.
“We joined hands with SAFA in football development because the association on its own cannot do it alone without able partners and we are happy that the Sishen Solar Facility and Kathu Solar Park have come on board to drive this Nation Building project.
“We are confident we will discover some unpolished diamonds within the province, some of whom will play in the national teams and even go abroad to countries like Spain and make a name for themselves,” he said.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan hailed the Solar Youth Cup as a massive project which will help the Northern Cape produce talent for the country.
“At the moment, the only renowned top football player from the province is Rivaldo Coetzee and I believe there are many more Coetzees who will be discovered through this tournament. I also hope such tournaments become a regular feature for the province. We need more of such tournaments,” said Jordaan.