The much anticipated pre-season tournament will be played at two venues, the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday (27/07) and the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Sunday (28/07). The draw for the event, which features KZN’s three Premier Soccer League and four National First Division teams, was held at Moses Mabhida Stadium today (11/07/19).
Speaking on behalf of the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Hlengiwe Mavimbela, MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu said that the Premier’s Cup provides an opportunity to celebrate the top football talent KwaZulu-Natal has to offer and match them against each other.
“It provides a platform for the coaches to test the clubs’ new acquisitions and see if they fit in the new system and to see if the combinations will work under a pressured environment. The Department of Sport and Recreation is investing an amount of R4.095million to directly assist the teams to finalise their pre-season training and participate in this tournament, with each of the seven teams getting equal amounts of R585 000. Overall our investment in the Premier’s Cup is in excess of R6m,” said Mshengu.
He urged KZN teams to focus on developing players from the Province and give them opportunities to play at the highest level. He said his Department will work closely with Sport and Recreation to revive the school sport programme in the province.
EThekwini Municipality’s Acting Deputy City Manager responsible for Community Services Cluster, Vusi Mazibuko said that the City was excited to be given an opportunity to host this important pre-season tournament in the province.
“The tournament is not only helping the teams with pre-season preparations but it also helps us as the City and Province to consolidate our position as a football province. The tournament is one of the key contributors in ensuring that the teams are ready for the upcoming season,” said Mazibuko.
The Head Coach of the reigning champions AmaZulu FC Kevin Johnson said that they will use the tournament to prepare for the start of the upcoming season and to showcase their new signings.
“Even though we are current champions we are not going to be complacent, we going to treat opposition with the respect they deserve. We have players that have been promoted from the lower divisions and we hope that they are going to use this tournament to consolidate their place in the starting eleven,” said Johnson.
Eric Tinkler of Maritzburg United said that even though this was his first time in the Premier’s Cup he hopes to do well.
“The Cup is not only about winning the silver wear but is also about the development of young players,” said Tinkler.
Simo Dladla Head Coach of Real Kings said that their aim is to eliminate whoever they play in the qualifying stage to prolong their stay in the tournament.
“We have been doing well in this tournament for the past three seasons but we get eliminated before the finals and whoever eliminates us normally go on to win the tournament. This year we will not be taking any chances, we are going for glory and no one will stand on our way,” said Dladla.
Football fans are urged to come out in numbers to support their local teams over the two days of the tournament. Entry to the games is free of charge!
During the draw, Lamontville Golden Arrows were drawn first, and they will proceed straight into the semi-final match on Sunday. The draw produced some mouthwatering clashes for the elimination round on Saturday, 27 July at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium starting at 11h00.
Elimination round fixtures - Saturday, 27 July 2019 at Princess Magogo Stadium
1. Uthongathi FC vs AmaZulu - 11h00
2. Richards Bay vs Real Kings - 13h00
3. Royal Eagles vs Maritzburg United - 15h00
Semi Finals and Finals - Sunday, 28 July 2019 at King Zwelithini Stadium