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Old Mutual set to defend their Engen Knockout Challenge title

The draw for the Cape Town leg of the 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge took place on 20 June at the River Club in Observatory. The eagerly anticipated under-17 event takes place from 30 June to 02 July at Vasco da Gama Football Club in Parow.
Cape Town’s football fraternity were out in force for the draw. In attendance were SAFA Cape Town Vice-President and Deputy Director in the, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Bennet Bailey; Engen Knockout Challenge Cape Town Tournament Director, Imraan Morgan; 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge Cape Town Ambassador, Brent Carelse; as well as South African football legends Hans Vonk, Donnie Ronnie, Duncan Crowie and Noel Cousins.
Coaches of participating teams from as far afield as Helderberg were also present to witness the event and to discover who their opponents are in the group stages of the preeminent youth football event.
Speaking at the draw, Engen’s Group Sponsorship Manager Brad Bergh urged the young players who participate in the tournament to use it as a stepping stone to launch their professional careers. “This is where it all starts, and Engen is delighted to be a part of the development of football at grassroots level,” said Bergh.
SAFA Cape Town Vice-President, Bennet Bailey lauded Engen’s commitment to grassroots football.
“It’s a fact that sport plays an important role in shaping the future of our young people. Not only has Engen, via the Engen Knockout Challenge, assisted in the development of our local players, local football administrators have also benefited by being involved in the organisation of a major tournament like the Engen Knockout Challenge,” said Bailey.
“It is tournament’s such as this that enable teams and players to test their ability to play at the highest level. To the coaches I want to say treat these players as a father would a son, take care of them and ensure that they stay focussed.”
The Engen Knockout Challenge Ambassador for Cape Town, Brent Carelse said he was proud to be associated with the tournament.
“I started my football career at a very young age right here in Cape Town. Succeeding to play at the highest level was always my goal,” said Carelse, who went on to star for Bafana Bafana Hellenic, Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundown and SuperSport United.
“I want to encourage all the players participating in this tournament to give of their best as it is tournaments such as the Engen Knockout Challenge that provide the platform for your footballing talent, showing the scouts in attendance that you are the next star on the horizon.
“Make the most of each opportunity, work hard, love the game and stay focussed. Your journey starts here!”
Reigning Engen Knockout Cape Town Champions Old Mutual were drawn in Group Three, alongside Grassy Park United, Riverside Rangers and Fish Hoek FC.
The groups are as follows: –
Group 1 – Vasco da Gama, MPCE Academy, Belhar Spurs, Avendale Athletico
Group 2 – Ikapa Sporting, Ajax Cape Town, Milano United, Glendene United
Group 3 – Grassy Park United, Old Mutual, Riverside Rangers, Fish Hoek FC
Group 4 – Atlantic Nacional, JMI Academy, Helderberg Rovers, D&G Orient
Scouts from clubs across South Africa and abroad have been seen at the Engen Knockout Challenge tournaments over the years, all looking to unearth the next star player.
The winners of the regional Engen Knockout Challenge events will battle it out in the Engen Champ of Champs later in the year to determine the overall national champions.
The dates for the Engen Knockout Challenge are as follows:
• Date: 30 June – 02 July 2017
• Venue: Parow Park, Vasco
• Host Club: Vasco da Gama

Port Elizabeth
• Date: 07 – 09 July 2017
• Venue: Glenville Celtic Sports Complex, Gelvandale
• Host Club: Glenville Celtic

• Date: 14 – 16 July 2017
• Venue: Moses Mabhida Sports Complex, Durban
• Host Club: Amazulu FC

• Date: 28 – 30 July 2017
• Venue: Grey College Sports Complex, Bloemfontein
• Host Club: Grey College

• Date: 04 – 06 Aug 2017
• Venue: Marks Park Sports Complex,
• Host Club: Wits AFC

For the players participating in the 2017 Engen Knockout Challenge, the message is clear – “Your Journey Starts Here”!
#EKOC2017, #YourJourneyStartsHere and #EngenSoccer
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