The Safa/Metropolitan Local Football Association League - one of South Africa's biggest development leagues - takes centre stage in Welkom, Free State, where the hotly anticipated race to be crowned 2007-08 champions continues this weekend.
This weekend's round will be particularly important as Safa will unveil the new league structure with the aim of fast-tracking players from the four corners of the country into a career in professional soccer. Some 52 regions consisting of 314 districts have registered for the league.
Mandla Mvelase, general manager: group marketing and corporate affairs at Metropolitan Holdings Limited, says he is pleased that the partnership between the group and the Safa is achieving the group's objectives.
"If this league motivates youngsters to be their best, in any respect, and at the same time helps to lay the foundations for first-class national teams, then we consider this sponsorship as being worth it," Mvelase said.
The race to represent Welkom as regional winners will take place at the Zuka Baloyi stadium tomorrow where eight teams in the region will take to the field.
The regional winners have an opportunity to qualify for a place in the Metropolitan national playoffs in Polokwane from April 13 to 19, should they also excel at provincial level.
Kick-off for the first match between DM Barcelona and Welkom Black Aces is 10am, Jumentro v Dinonyana at 1 pm, Lijabatho play NC Barca at 3.30pm, and Belson United v Matjhabeng at 6pm.