FOUR of Cape Town’s strongest clubs have been drawn in the same group for the finals of the Engen Knockout Challenge.
Ajax Cape Town, Old Mutual Academy, Bayhill United and Woodlands United all of whom stand a chance of lifting the coveted trophy are in Group C.
People’s Post is the print media partner of the Engen Knockout Challenge.
At the tournament launch at Athlone Stadium on Thursday the editor, Feroza Miller-Isaacs, announced the initiation and newspaper’s sponsorship of the People’s Post Brian Gaffney Memorial Trophy.
This initiative is in honour of the multiple award-winning late newspaperman who was Sports Editor of People’s Post at the time of his death in July 2011.
The trophy will be awarded to the team with the most sporting spirit.
The 16 teams to contest the competition were separated into groups at the tournament launch at Athlone Stadium on Thursday, and Group C is easily one of the most competitive.
As defending champions Ajax Cape Town will have the strongest claim to the title, while Old Mutual and Woodlands have both won age-group tournaments recently and Bayhill are one of the most well-known amateur teams in Cape Town.
Woodlands qualified for the finals after a victory against Ashford Athletic and a draw against Vasco da Gama.
They will be looking to add the Knockout Challenge trophy to their silverware, having won the Dulux Inter-Community Cup in May and taken second place in the Kenpark under-23 Arising Stars tournament.
Old Mutual qualified for the finals with a perfect record, finishing on top of their play-off group after scoring five goals and conceding just one in their two victories over Heath Athletic and Ambassadors FC.
In April, Mutual, who have former Bafana Bafana centreback Roger Links as their head of development, won both the under-11 and under-15 tournaments at the Kensington AFC Youth Cup.
Bayhill United also finished on top of their group during the qualification stage, having beaten Bluegum United and drawn against Greenwood Athletic, while Ajax were seeded and did not need to qualify.
Premier Soccer League newcomers Chippa United, former PSL side Vasco da Gama and tournament hosts Santos were also seeded.
Miller-Isaacs says: “We are honoured to be part of the tournament and the development of talent that comes out of the tournament. It’s great to be able to offer children an alternative.”
People’s Post will also give coverage to the team with the best disciplinary record at the Engen Knockout Challenge.
The tournament will take place at the Stephen Reagan Sports Complex in Westridge, Mitchell’s Plain from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 September.
GROUP A: Chippa United, Hellenic, Kuils River and Rygersdal.
GROUP B: Santos, Heath Athletic, Fire Fighters and Stars of Africa.
GROUP C: Ajax, Old Mutual Academy, Bayhill United and Woodlands United.
GROUP D: Vasco da Gama, Atlantic Nacional, CPUT Selesians and Kenpark United.