MPUMALANGA’S GREATEST SOCCER TOURNAMENT IS BACK
The 2018 Selati Cup kicks off on the 18th of March and the Selati heartland will once again be at the centre of non-stop soccer action until the final whistle blows in June.
The search for the next team of champions is on, after a super-close final in 2017 where Kamhlushwa Real Madrid defeated Buffelspruit Home Defender in the closing minutes to become the Selati Cup 2017 winners.
“As always, we’ve come to expect a high level of performance and an impressive spirit of competition from all the teams taking part in the Selati Cup,” said Kenneth Phiri, Selati Cup co-ordinator, “In 13 years, no team has ever won the cup more than once or consecutively, so this shows just how competitive the field really is. Each year, new talent comes to the fore and more strong teams come into the running, so we look forward to seeing what 2018 will bring.”
More than 120 teams take part in the Selati Cup over the course of three months with the action culminating in an action-packed final that brings over 15 000 spectators to Kamhlushwa Stadium to cheer their favourites on as they compete for a prize purse of over R100 000.
“The Selati Cup was started 13 years ago as a way to bring camaraderie, entertainment and joy to the people of Mpumalanga, many of whom are also part of our Selati family,” said Derek Van Niekerk, Director at Selati Sugar Business Unit. “We are proud to be associated with an event that has become such a massive part of our local community and one which so many people look forward to every year.”
Last year the Selati Cup had a taste of international soccer stardom when Lucas Radebe attended the final and guided the semi-finalist teams through a training workshop leading up to the final. Local fans can once again expect to see ‘Roo’ on the sidelines and players can once again stand a chance of experiencing a training session with him, should they reach the final stages of the tournament. He said following his visit to the tournament last year, “As always, I enjoyed visiting Mpumalanga, and I am always in awe of the passion the fans there, have for the game. I was impressed by the quality of talent on display, and I am eager to see if Kamhlushwa Real Madrid can retain their title next year. Football is all year round, so I hope the players are already starting to practice for the 2018 Selati Cup!”
The Selati Cup is also celebrated as a grassroots soccer breeding ground where scouts from the nationally based teams come in search of fresh talent. Local stars such as Innocent Mkhabela, Velile Zitha, Mpho Mbebe, Jabulani Dladla and Ludick Mkhatshwa all found their way onto the national stage thanks to their exposure the tournament.
In 2017 several talented players came to the fore, including Machala Matlalepula of the winning team, who was awarded Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament with an impressive 14 goals and Inosh Mlambo of Kamhlushwa City Stars, who was named Goal Keeper of the Tournament. Special mention went to Ncedile Siwela of Schoemansdal Super Strikers who scored 10 goals in a single match. The question is, will we see them on the winner’s podium again in 2018?
This year, the new Selati Cup Facebook page will keep fans closer than ever to the action!
Plus, you can stand a chance to win a share of R100 000 with the Selati Cup. Simply purchase any Selati Sugar product and SMS the bar code to 32372 to enter. Visit facebook.com/Selati Cup for more information.