Ramatsiyi Moholoa and Mogan Segadavan
THE final curtain will come down in the South African Football Association’s SAB Regional League in the Eastern Cape tomorrow with the provincial playoffs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Provincial secretary Isaac Klaas said a total of eight regional winners would battle it out in the playoffs, with the top two winning promotion to the Safa Second Division.
The teams are Real City (Nelson Mandela Bay), Jeffreys Bay Milan (Cacadu), Intellectuals (Buffalo City), Junior Chiefs (Aliwal North), New Nations (Chris Hani), Willowvale United (Amathole), Madikizela All Stars (OR Tambo) and The Stars (Alfred Nzo).
Each team will play two games tomorrow and one on Sunday morning.
“The two top teams will also meet in the final at 1pm to determine the provincial winners,” said Klaas. “The games have generated massive interest here in the Eastern Cape, with talent scouts making arrangements to attend with the hope of signing new players. Scouts from National First Division side Blackburn Rovers and clubs in the Second Division have indicated that they will be attending.”
The SAB Regional League has produced household names, including Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Tlou Molekwane, Vincent Kobola, Darren Keet, Happy Jele, Ndumiso Mabena and Lucky Lekgwathi.
The competition is the largest Safa development league in South Africa which aims to identify and nurture young sporting talent at grassroots level, offering the opportunity for them to move through the ranks.
A total of 18 SAB League teams (two teams per province), out of the 1305 competing in the league, will be promoted to the Safa second division
This year, players received official SAB League kits for the first time at a presentation function in Humewood.
The 2013 SAB League season will culminate in the national championship in Stellenbosch next month.
The best players from each of the nine provinces will be selected to form representative squads, along with a team from University Sports South Africa.
The national championship will be held on July 7-8, with a programme intended to empower young people with off-the-pitch skills, as well as encouraging them to have a continued positive outlook.
“SAB is passionate about serving communities and the youth that are the building blocks of those communities. We are in the unique position of being able to use football players to drive responsible messaging among their peers and in their communities, thereby helping to fight alcohol abuse in the hearts and minds of the most vulnerable,” said SAB’s national corporate social investment specialist, Sylvester Ndaba.
The on-the-field element of the national championship kicks off on July 9, with the final taking place at the Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch.
Entry to all games this weekend is free and there will be entertainment on and off the field for the whole family. The final will kick off at 1pm on Sunday.
The groups are:
Group A: New Nations, Willowvale United, JB Milan, Junior Chiefs.
Group B: Madikizela All Stars, The Stars, Intellectuals, Real City.