Free State’s budding young footballers will again have a chance to showcase their talents when one of the country’s premier youth football tournaments, the Engen Knockout Challenge, takes place at Grey College in Bloemfontein from 3-5 July 2015.
The draw for the prestigious event was conducted on Wednesday, 17 June. Bloemfontein Celtic Colts, Grey College, FC Remember and Harmony Academy were all seeded to avoid being drawn in the same group.
Harmony’s Pitso Mokoena, whose side have won the regional tournament seven times, said the draw was fair and that he is relishing the prospect of facing top teams early in the event.
“I’m very happy about the draw. I think ours is a group of death but it is good to play against the best teams. At the end of the day, you've got to play good teams to win it and at some point you're going to match up with quality opponents,” added Mokoena.
Former Celtic hitman George Nechironga, who was appointed Navilsig coach three months ago, also believes it is a difficult draw but fully expects his charges to make it to the knockout stage.
“It is a tough draw but I think we have a strong team that will compete for the championship. I was not expecting an easy draw because all teams are competitive but I’m very hopeful of making it to the final,” commented Nechironga.
Meanwhile, Engen representative Ntobeko Mbingeleli said his company was honoured and humbled to be sponsoring the tournament for the twelfth successive year.
“I have no doubt that this year’s tournament will exceed the successes of previous years. I congratulate all 16 teams that qualified for this year’s event and wish the player’s everything of the best as they continue to chase their dreams of becoming professional footballers in the future,” said Mbingeleli.