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The rich football talent in the region was on display at the football tournament.

The Southern Local Football Association (SLFA) hosted its inaugural Umkhosi Cup 2023 tournament on the weekend of October 7 and 8 at Linhill Celtic Football Club.

This exciting event brought together football enthusiasts from across South Africa, showcasing the immense talent of young players in the region, from U14 to U19.

The Umkhosi Cup tournament welcomed a diverse array of teams, including representatives from KwaZulu-Natal schools, Johannesburg’s prestigious Jeppe High School, Ekurhuleni schools, specifically Sunward Park High School, and SLFA district and club teams. This gathering of talent marked a significant milestone for the SLFA and South African football as a whole.

U19 match between Sunward Park High School (white and orange) and KZN 1 School (green and white) ended in 1 – 0. Photo: Lucky Thusi

With a total of 32 teams participating over the two action-packed days, the Umkhosi Cup created an electrifying atmosphere that captured the hearts of fans and players alike. The event’s coverage was provided by Supersport School’s broadcasting, ensuring that the excitement and excellence of South African youth football reached a global audience.

The tournament was graciously hosted by Linhill Celtic Football Club, a dedicated supporter of youth football development in the region. Their commitment to nurturing young talent was reflected in the seamless organisation and execution of the Umkhosi Cup.

Although KZN 1 School (green and white) was in control of the game, Sunward Park High School (white and orange) won the game by a solitary goal. Photo: Lucky Thusi

The primary objective of the Umkhosi Cup was to provide a platform for emerging football talent in South Africa to shine. The tournament demonstrated the immense potential and dedication of young players who are eager to make their mark in the world of football.

By bringing together teams from various regions and backgrounds, the Umkhosi Cup fostered a spirit of unity and competition that will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of the sport in South Africa.

Eddie Pelser, a representative of the SLFA said, “We are thrilled with the success of the inaugural Umkhosi Cup tournament. It’s a testament to the incredible talent we have in South Africa, and we are committed to making this festival of football an annual tradition. We want to continue providing young athletes with opportunities to showcase their skills and inspire the next generation of football stars.”

Old Eds FC (red and green) about to clear the ball where Sunward Park High School (white and orange) was attacking. Photo: Lucky Thusi

The Umkhosi Cup’s debut was a resounding success, not only in terms of football excellence but also in its ability to bring communities and supporters together. The SLFA looks forward to building on this foundation and making the Umkhosi Cup an even more significant event in the years to come.

Linhill Celtic Football Club will host the prize-giving and its AGM on October 28.

About the Southern Local Football Association

The SLFA is dedicated to promoting and developing football talent in its district. Through various programmes and initiatives, the SLFA aims to create opportunities for young athletes to excel in the sport, fostering a love for football and a sense of unity among communities.

The Umkhosi Cup is one of the many endeavours undertaken by the SLFA to showcase the rich football talent in the region. Further information can be requested via email at info@slfa.co.za

Sunward Park High School (white and orange) celebrating its third goal. Photo: Lucky Thusi
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