SAFA kicks off SAB u21 League National Championships

SAFA kicks off SAB u21 League National Championships

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has launched the 2016 edition of the South African Breweries (SAB) U21 National Championships, which take place at the University of Limpopo in Polokwane from 9 – 16 July.
20160705-sabThe largest and most successful grassroots football development league in the country has proudly established itself as the most trusted football talent hub for professional clubs, producing household names such as Andile Jali, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Themba Zwane.

The launch of the tournament, held at SAB World of Beer, was attended by SAB League graduates, Zwane (now a Mamelodi Sundowns Midfielder) and Thabo Senong (National U23 Head Coach).

A draw was also conducted, which officially marked the battle lines for the highly anticipated tournament.

All nine provinces plus a university select side, University Sport South Africa (USSA) will be represented by the “cream of the crop” selected from the 30 000 players nationwide that participate in the SAB League.

In line with the SAB League’s commitment to football development, a total of 20 match officials who will officiate during the tournament will undergo a week of training.

This will be conducted by highly qualified technical and physical instructors including former FIFA referee, Sylvester Ndaba.

Also present at the launch was Mojalefa Selumetse, a proud beneficiary of SAB’s latest innovation to the SAB League that sees selected players being afforded an opportunity to pursue a career of their choice at any accredited tertiary institution.

Selumetse, who is completing his final year in Education, was one of the players that assisted Free State to two consecutive SAB U21 National Championships. He expressed his appreciation to SAB for the significant contribution they have made in his life.

”The SAB League has changed my life in a manner that words cannot explain. My talent was discovered through this league and I am now a few months away from being a University graduate thanks to the study assistance programme by SAB. I am looking forward to graduating and becoming an educated professional footballer,” said Selumetse.

SAB’s Head of Sustainability and Transformation Mpho Sadiki said 2016 has been one of the most exciting seasons of the SAB League since the start of the brewer’s partnership with SAFA.

“We have been innovative in our commitment to football development with various initiatives such as the SAB League Skills Camps, higher education bursaries and player data monitoring. This is a positive direction that SAB has taken and we look forward to an exciting finale of the season at the National Championships,” Sadiki said.

Outside of the football action, all players present at the tournament will attend the Complete Player Programme – a life skills programme aimed at addressing social ills and equipping young footballers with the necessary life skills required in their journey to a professional football career.

The Complete Player Programme will be administered by legends of the game such as Collen Tlemo and Silver Shabalala.

SAFA’s President, Dr. Danny Jordaan highlighted the value that organisations such as SAB bring to the development of football, saying that significant strides had been made since the beginning of the partnership with SAB.

“SAFA’s vision of producing competitive national teams is also aided by the support of organisations such as SAB and this has been evident in the number of quality footballers that have come through the SAB League,” said Jordaan.

SAB U21 National Championships Draw Results: 9 July – 16 July:

Group A                                      Group B

KwaZulu-Natal                            Limpopo

Western Cape                               Gauteng

Free State                                     Northern Cape

Eastern Cape                                North West

USSA Football                             Mpumalanga

Day 1: Saturday, 9 July 2016 – Complete Player Program

Day 2: Sunday, 10 July 2016

Host                                 Visitor                            Time                       Field                          Match No.

KwaZulu-Natal vs         Western Cape              10:00 – 12:00        Oscar Mpheta STD            1

Free State  vs                 Eastern Cape                10:00 – 12:00        Oscar Mpheta STD            2

Limpopo vs                   Gauteng                        12:00 – 14:30        Oscar Mpheta STD             3

Northern Cape   vs        North West                    12:00 – 14:30        Oscar Mpheta STD            4

Eastern Cape   vs           USSA Football              15:00 – 17:00        Oscar Mpheta STD            5

Western Cape vs            Free State                       15:00 – 17:00        Oscar Mpheta STD            6

Day 3: Monday, 11 July 2016

Host                              Visitor                                Time                        Field                           Match No.

North West  vs             Mpumalanga                   10:00 – 12:00           Oscar Mpheta STD           7

Gauteng        vs             Northern Cape                10:00 – 12:00           Oscar Mpheta STD           8

Free State     vs              KwaZulu-Natal               12:30 – 14:30          Oscar Mpheta STD           9

USSA  vs                      Western Cape                  12:30 – 14:30           Oscar Mpheta STD         10

Northern Cape vs         Limpopo                          15:00 – 17:00           Oscar Mpheta STD          11

Mpumalanga vs           Gauteng                            15:00 – 17:00           Oscar Mpheta STD          12

Day 4: Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Host                                   Visitor                            Time                                 Field                        Match No.

Eastern Cape      vs        Western Cape                    12:00 – 14:00               Oscar Mpheta STD           13

KwaZulu-Natal    vs       USSA                                12:00 – 14:00                Oscar Mpheta STD           14

North West           vs       Gauteng                              15:00 – 17:00                Oscar Mpheta STD          15

Limpopo                vs         Mpumalanga                       15:00 – 17:00               Oscar Mpheta STD           16

Day 5: Wednesday, 13 July 2016 – Complete Player Program

Day 6: Thursday, 14 July 2016

Host                           Visitor                  Time                           Field                        Match No.

Northern Cape  vs     Mpumalanga        10:00 – 12:00         Oscar Mpheta STD        17

Mpumalanga   vs       Limpopo               10:00 – 12:00         Oscar Mpheta STD        18

Free State         vs            USSA                    13:00 – 15:00          Oscar Mpheta STD        19

Eastern Cape    vs      KwaZulu-Natal      13:00 – 15:00          Oscar Mpheta STD         20

Day 7: Friday, 15 July 2016 – SEMI-FINAL

Host                        Visitor                        Time                            Field                      Match No.

Winner GA vs  Runner-up GB                   9:00                   Oscar Mpheta STD           21

Winner GB vs  Runner-up GA                   11:00                  Oscar Mpheta STD          22

3rd & 4th Place Play Off

Loser Match 20   vs      Loser Match 21        15:00                Oscar Mpheta STD         23

Day 8: Saturday, 16 July 2016 – FINAL

Winner Match 21  vs    winner Match 22        15:00             Oscar Mpheta STD         24