THE 22nd Metropolitan Under-19 Cup, running from March 31 to April 5, will comprise 32 teams.
It has attracted some big guns like Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Two of the teams will be coming from Swaziland. Tournament director PJ Williams said it would be a curtain-raiser to the World Cup that kicks off in June.
"It is a source of great pride that a number of former parti-cipants are likely to represent South Africa at the World Cup," said Williams, adding that top names including Steven Pienaar, Benni McCarthy, Moeneeb Josephs, Daine Klate and Nasief Morris all graced the fields of Erica Park.
Referee Jerome Damon, who is one of the local officials involved in the World Cup, began his illustrious career at the Premier Cup.
Nkosinathi Chonco said the Cup's focus was to ensure development. "The teams include SuperSport United, Sundowns, Swallows, Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic, Free State Stars, Ajax and Santos," Chonco said.