Motsepe League teams go for glory

By the end of Sunday July 26, one team from the ABC Motsepe League will be savouring their biggest pay check ever – R800 000, plus another R200 000 to invest in a soccer development project identified by them in consultation with the South African Football Association and the Motsepe Foundation.

The National Play-offs of the ABC Motsepe League take place from Monday July 20th, and run through till Sunday July 26 when the finals will be played.

The draw for the Play-offs took place this week, and was conducted by the chairman and founder of the Motsepe Foundation Patrice Motsepe and SAFA President Danny Jordaan.

In addition to the R1-million pay package, the winner will also gain promotion to the National First Division (NFD), which is the first step towards gaining promotion to the elite Premier Soccer League.

The runners-up, the second finalist on Sunday, will also gain promotion, and in addition, pocket R400 000 as their prize money, plus an additional R100 000 to invest in a development project.

The two teams will join last year’s inaugural finalists Cape Town All Stars and Highlands Park in the NFD. Both these sides showed their quality in the NFD against sides which included Jomo Cosmos, Black Leopards and winners Lamontville Golden Arrows. Arrows and Cosmos were promoted to the PSL for the upcoming season.

When the South African National Football Association today announced that the Motsepe Foundation would sponsor the SAFA Second Division currently known as the Vodacom League for the next five years as part of the association’s commitment to focus on youth development, it provided the division with a new impetus, particularly because of the prize money as incentive.

This staggering prize money is a clear statement by the Motsepe Foundation, its patrons Mr Patrice Motsepe and Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and the Trustees on the importance and significance of the development of sport whilst empowering the youth and creating opportunity for a better life

The ABC Motsepe League is just one of the projects and causes supported by the Motsepe Foundation, including from Education, Women and Economic Empowerment to the Youth and Sport. The Motsepe Foundation also sponsors the schools soccer competition, the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, which is arguably the biggest schools sports competition in the world.

The structure of the ABC Motsepe League requires that all teams field at least six under 21 players, a condition which ensures that the focus of participating teams remains on nurturing youth rather than going for the prize money at any cost.

With 144 teams playing in the ABC Motsepe league, this will mean that more than 1500 players under the age of 21 will get the opportunity to play in an organized, competitive league, getting exposed to proper training and coaching. This should bode well for the preparation or young players for Bafana Bafana roles in the future, and also provide Premier Soccer League teams with the opportunity to identify young players for their own development programmes and youth injection.

The Play-offs will consist of two groups, with Milford, Glendene United, Mbombela United, African All Stars and Roses United fighting it out in Group A, and Kuruman Kicks/Hungry Lions, North West Shining Stars, Magesi FC and Mthata Bucks featuring in Group B.

Milford FC and Roses United kick off the play offs at 12.30 on Monday 20 July, followed by Glendene take on African All Stars in the second game of the day. Mbombela United drew a bye for the day.