The draw and the launch of the 2014 edition of the Metropolitan Premier Cup was conducted at a colourful function at the Cape Town Civic Centre on Tuesday evening.
The 32 team tournament that pits the best qualifiers from the Western Cape against some of the top academy and professional feeder sides from around the country, will once again be held at Erica Park in Belhar from 16-21 April.
The 2014 line up is comprised of Super Sport United (2010 champions), Mpumalanga Black Aces (PSL), Senaone Gunners (Gauteng), Kaizer Chiefs (PSL), Bidvest Wits (2003 champions), Mamelodi Sundowns (2009 champions), Berea Albion (Gauteng), School of Excellence (Gauteng), Ethekwini Coastal Academy (KZN), Harmony Sports Academy (Free State), Caledonian Football Club (PE), University of Pretoria (Gauteng), Saints Football Club (PE), AmaZulu (KZN), along with local counterparts, Ajax Cape Town (2004, 2005, 2008, 2013 champions), Bayhill United (hosts), Beacon Spurs, Milano United, Morgenster United, Robinvale Spurs, Hellenic, ASD Cape Town, Bishop Lavis, Vasco da Gama, Old Mutual Academy, Santos Academy, Bellstar United, Bluedowns Spurs, Glendene United, Masidlale and Beau West City.
In keeping with a long-standing tradition of inviting foreign guests, the Metropolitan Premier Cup welcomes the gallant Soccer academy from Kenya for the first time.
This year, celebrates Metropolitan’s 25th year as principal sponsor of the competition, having partnered with Bayhill FC back in 1990, a year after its first staging. Over a quarter of a century, household names such as Benni McCarthy, Nasief Morris, Matthew Booth, Steven Pienaar - to name but a few – and more recently, Thulani Serero, Daine Klate and Ayanda Patosi have gained valuable experience from their participation in the Metropolitan Premier Cup on their way to attaining stardom.
Metropolitan’s brand executive, Belinda Faulkner, explained the company’s motivation for their involvement.
“Metropolitan has always held a broader perception of the situation, recognising the longer term benefits of providing the resources to develop young talent with the view to seeing them become the stars of tomorrow; South Africa has a wealth of potential and Metropolitan believes in committing these resources where they are needed most in order to maximise the fulfilment of that potential, “said Faulkner.
Tournament director, P.J. Williams emphasized the impact of Metropolitan’s involvement in the event.
“True to their word, Metropolitan has had a tremendously good effect on the entire community. From the food and concession stands to the medics, transport facilitators, security and volunteer marshals, the sense of pride from participating not only in bringing pride to their own community, but in making a positive impression on outside visitors as well. Since 2010, it has been alcohol free and the people have voluntarily adopted the policy without resistance, so it creates a further element of family friendly zone. What makes this event so special is that it has established a tradition of appreciation for what it means to everyone involved,” commented Williams.
The 2014 Metropolitan Premier Cup kicks off at Erica Park, Belhar just outside Cape Town, on Wednesday, 16 April when the group phase gets under way.
The tournament runs throughout the Easter weekend, with the final being contested at 15h00 on Monday, 21 April.
The groups for the 2014 Metropolitan Premier Cup:
Ajax Cape Town
School of Excellence
Beaufort West City
Bay Hill United
Blue Downs Spurs
University of Pretoria
Vasco da Gama
Old Mutual Academy
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Gallant Academy (Kenya)