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  • The breeding ground of legends: Kicking off the 2016 Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup

    Date published: 02 March 2016 by Roxanne Leibrandt - Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town

    The breeding ground of legends: Kicking off the 2016 Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup

    Wednesday 2 March signalled the draw of the 2016 Metropolitan Premier Cup, Africa’s premier youth football tournament and what is unofficially considered the ‘breeding ground of SA's future football stars'.

    The tournament takes place over Easter weekend at Erica Park, Belhar from 23 - 28 March, with the Grand Opening ceremony on Friday 25 March. The  tournament draw, which took place earlier this evening at the Sports Science Institute in Newlands, saw 18 Cape sides, including two multiple former winners in Ajax Cape Town and Hellenic, joined in the mix by 14 top notch teams from around SA and abroad.

    As per this evening's draw, the 2016 tournament schedule is as follows:

    2016 Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup full draw:

    Group A

    1. Glendene United
    2. Harmony Sports Academy
    3. Southampton FC
    4. Juventus (Beaufort West)

    Group B

    1. Bayhill United
    2. Jomo Cosmos
    3. Hellenic
    4. MPCE Football Academy

    Group C

    1. SuperSport United
    2. Amazulu
    3. Cape United
    4. Greenwood Athletic

    Group D

    1. Bidvest Wits
    2. Chippa United
    3. Atlantic Nacional
    4. Mighty United

    Group E

    1. Ajax Cape Town
    2. Shumba
    3. Riverside FC
    4. Milano United

    Group F

    1. University of Pretoria
    2. Bloemfontein Celtic
    3. Avendale Athletico
    4. iKapa Sporting

    Group G

    1. Swansea City
    2. Glenwegians
    3. Stephanian Ottery
    4. PPG Langa

    Group H

    1. Mamelodi Sundowns
    2. Zesco United
    3. Old Mutual Academy
    4. Stellenbosch University

    With Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits (both former MPC champions) sending the cream of their youngsters to take part alongside Amazulu, Bloemfontein Celtic, University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos,  the reigning Metropolitan U19 Premier Cup champions Glendene from Lansdowne will have their work cut out to defend their crown. The foriegn guest teams this year are Swansea City from Wales and Zambia's Zesco United FC.

    The Metropolitan Premier Cup was first held in 1989 and has become a significant showcase for young footballing talent. This is played out in front of crowds in excess of 25 000, which always include scouts looking for the stars of tomorrow.

    Benni McCarthy, Matthew Booth, Nasief Morris, Moeneeb Josephs, Thulani Serero and Rivaldo Coetzee are just some of the famous names of the local game who gained crucial experience and exposure in the MPC. Last year's player of the tournament, Mihlali Mayambela, was signed after the tournament by a club in Sweden.

    Llewellyn Allen, Head of Brand at Metropolitan, describes MPC as "a massive community event as well as a world-renowned youth football festival and something Metropolitan is extremely proud to have been a big part of for more than twenty years."

    Tournament director PJ Williams said that demand for places in the MPC was extremely high and the local Cape clubs who made it into the final tournament draw deserved congratulations for getting through the tough qualification rounds.

    Williams, who has been involved in the tournament since its inception, has no doubts that this year's MPC line-up is one of the best ever and that the finals will "deliver an exciting Easter weekend of action for the SA footballing community".

    There is a total of R105 000 in prize money up for grabs at the 2016 Metropolitan Premier Cup.

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