Awards ceremony honours Selati Cup’s brightest stars

King Sgundla receives the cheque on behalf of runners-up Buffelspruit Home Defenders from Derek van Niekerk of RCL Foods, Solomon Mahlalela and David Mashaya.

The Selati Cup stars of this year were celebrated during an awards ceremony at the Malelane Golf Club on Friday evening.

The 11th edition of the popular soccer tournament, an initiative of the local RCL Foods division, proved an even bigger success than last year.

The tournament’s organisers, sponsors and stakeholders were also invited to attend and were thanked for their contributions. Attendees included officials from SAFA, the Nkomazi Local Muncipality, the local Football Association and representatives of RCL Foods.

Despite a small number of disputes, the tournament had fewer serious incidents, Zweli Sibanyoni, a member of the local organising committee, reported.

Sibanyoni also stated that the Selati Cup is known on national level and considered the best sports project of its kind in the country.

The SA Football Association’s Ehlanzeni office was very impressed that women’s football has also become a part of the tournament. They said their vision for 2022 is that youth teams also join the Selati Cup.

Derek van Niekerk, director of RCL Foods’ Sugar and Milling Division, talked about the tournament’s amazing growth – from 32 teams in 2005 to 128, 12 years later.

Derek van Niekerk, Solomon Mahlalela, David Mashaya, Jabulani Mamba of KaMhlushwa Real Madrid and Kaizer Sibanyoni with the Selati Cup.

“The tournament is not just known for its camaraderie, entertainment and the joy it brings fans, but also as a platform for promising talents to be scouted,” Van Niekerk said, listing several players that are part of top teams like Platinum Stars, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

READ: Selati Cup 2016 champs finally introduced

Two of this year’s players were chosen to take part in the Orlando Pirates development team trials.

Sports personality, Lucas Radebe joined the Selati Cup team as a brand ambassador and also hopes to promote young talent.

RCL Foods Sugar and Milling director Derek van Niekerk, Solomon Mahlalela and Patrick Ngomane with the cheque for Mzinti Ladies.

The qualifying matches started last week and the promotional league is scheduled for September 2017.

“It’s not all about winning, but participating for a purpose. To the champions – you failed several years ago but the lessons you learned helped you win. To the ladies, Banyana Banyana needs the Nkomazi touch,” Van Niekerk concluded.

The winning team, KaMhlushwa Real Madrid, runners-up Buffelspruit Home Defenders and ladies winners Mzinti Ladies were on stage first to receive their cheques.

Other winners:

• Top goal scorer: Machala Matlalepula (14 goals)
• Best goalkeeper: Inosh Mlambo
• Referee of the tournament: Moses Sindane
• Coach of the tournament: Selby Mamba
• Best young player of the tournament: Sanele Sindane and Elias Langa (Tonga Chelsea).
• Player of the tournament: Lifa Sambo (Buffelspruit Home Defender) and Mancoba Lubisi (Kamhlushwa Real Madrid)
• Lady Top goal scorer: Nothando Nkosi of Mzinti Ladies with 16 goals
• Lady of the tournament: Ncedile Siwela of Super Strikers for scoring ten goals in a single match
• Save of the tournament: Xolani Nkosi of Buffelspruit Home Defender
• Goal of the tournament: Xolani Magagula of Driekoppies Barcelona

Retha Nel

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