DURBAN TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE
By: Siyanda Ndlovu
KwaZulu-Natal will take the centre stage as Durban will host the International under 19 Tournament in July.
Six of the world’s best clubs will join the South African Football Association U19 national team and The KZN Hoy Park Academy XI (the trialist team).
All teams that will be participating in the tournament were announced on Friday by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan. Everton will represent English Premier League, while Sporting Lisbon from Portugal, Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord and AS Roma will accompany the English side from Europe.
Other two teams from around the world are Argentinean Primera Division Club Atletico Boca Juniors and Brazillian Serie A Santos Futebol Clube. Tournament organizer Carlos Certalino expressed delight at the success of the tournament arganisation up to this stage.
“We are delighted to be able to announce such a prestigious and glamourous line up of the international invitees,” said Cartalino.
“These clubs not only represent the top of their respective leagues, but in players such as Eusebio, Pele, Totti, Cruyff, Rooney and Maradona show they have an illustrious history which their Under 19s players will be emulating here in Durban.”
Meanwhile all speakers attributed their speeches to the greatness of the tournament. Jordaan saw this as an opportunity to develop and construct a new national senior team.
“This is a very important tournament as the under 19s are the future of all senior national teams. We are in the process of building a new Bafana Bafana and it is from the U19 where we have identify new talent and our future stars,” said Jordaan.
SA U19 team will be coached by Shakes Mashaba and the coach believes that competitions such as these, are a building block especially for big future tournaments. This is an overdue tournament for this age group, said Mashaba. ”These are the building blocks for our future national team. As we work towards Moscow, these are the players to take us there.”
Mashaba then edged the public to give courage to the participants of the tournament. “We want the public to give these guys the support they and courage to realize their potential,” concluded the former Bafana Bafana mentor.