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COPA Coca-Cola u15 Tournament to bring soccer festivities to Bethlehem

The 2018 COPA Coca-Cola U15 tournament continues this coming Saturday, 25 August as the Free State province hosts it’s COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals at Bohlokong Stadium in Bethlehem.

The 2018 edition of the global U15 School’s tournament kicked off in June and has since travelled to six provinces with Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga being the three remaining provinces to stage their COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals, ahead of the highly anticipated COPA Coca-Cola National Finals.

With Bethlehem being the next stop for the popular school’s tournament, the six confirmed schools from the various Free State regions to compete for a place in the COPA Coca-Cola National Finals are: Moroka High, Dr Reginald Cingo High, Ipetleng High, Akofang Combined School, Mosala Secondary School and Leasawana Intermediate School.

“Over the years, Coca-Cola has successfully created a unique platform for youngsters to reach their full potential through the COPA Coca-Cola Tournament while helping SASFA unearth talent. We pride ourselves in affording these youngsters an opportunity to understand the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship through the game of soccer.” shares Coca-Cola’s Sponsorship Manager, Puso Makume.

While the ultimate goal will be securing a place in the COPA Coca-Cola National Finals set to take place in Port Elizabeth between 26 and 29 September, players can also look forward to this year’s life-changing scouting initiative, the COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars Search. This initiative is led by tournament ambassador and former Bafana Bafana player, Jabu “Shuffle” Mahlangu.

The COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars Search will see Mahlangu alongside a panel of scouting experts identifying the best performing players from each COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Finals. The selected players will form part of the COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars Camp that will be held later this year at the High-Performance Centre in Pretoria. The training camp will see the selected squad being exposed to the latest football training methods by highly qualified sporting experts while playing a series of friendly games against other junior academy clubs from various Premier Soccer League clubs.

“The past few months have been quite exciting for me, thanks to this exciting tournament. Working closely with Coca-Cola and SASFA, we have travelled to various provinces and identified what could possibly be the future of South African football. There is still more talent to be explored in the three remaining provinces and we look forward to seeing what the rest of the country has to offer when it comes to School’s football” said Mahlangu.
Notable COPA Coca-Cola tournament graduates include Bafana Bafana players such as Andile Jali, Happy Jele, Mandla Masango and SA U17 midfielder, Thando Buthelezi who recently went to the 2018 COSAFA Youth Championships in Mauritius.

With over 1.3 million teenagers from more than 60 countries taking part, COPA Coca-Cola is recognised globally as the leading grassroots football programme in the world.

Youngsters and football supporters are urged to support their teams or follow the action on social media using #COPACocaCola for news updates and results.

Confirmed Schools for the COPA Coca-Cola National Finals so far:

Province School
Eastern Cape Malcomess Secondary School
Northern Cape Ikekeletso Secondary School
Western Cape Kuyakhanya Primary School
Gauteng Clapham High School (Reigning Champions)
North West Seiphemelo High School
KwaZulu-Natal Glenwood High School

Remaining COPA Coca-Cola Provincial Play Off Dates:

25 August Free State Bohlokong Stadium
1 September Limpopo Malamulele Stadium
8 September Mpumalanga Lynville Stadium
26–29 September Eastern Cape Wolfson Stadium (Port Elizabeth)

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