Benoni crowned champs

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

The Benoni Under-14 team were crowned champions of the inaugural Ekurhuleni Under-14 Mayoral Soccer Challenge after routing Springs 5-0 in the final at the Germiston sports club at the weekend.

The two-day tournament was sanctioned by the Ekurhuleni department of sports, recreation, arts and culture in conjunction with Safa Ekurhuleni.

A hat trick by striker Mitchel Chiloane and Thuthuka Khumalo's brace saw the Benoni youngsters annexing the maiden title.

They were presented with a trophy and gold medals, while the runners-up got silver medals.

Nine teams from the greater towns of Ekurhuleni: Germiston, Brakpan, Boksburg, Alberton, Benoni, Edenvale, Nigel, Springs and Kempton Park took part in the event.

A provisional squad of 40 players was selected at the end of the tournament and they will take part in a road show and play with other development teams around Ekurhuleni in a search for more talent.

Safa Ekurhuleni vice president Joseph Matiea said: "The main aim of the roadshow is to give those players who are not playing organised football a chance to show their talent as well.

"The road show will benefit our organisation twofold - to get mass participation and to reach out to unorganised football to join proper structures," he added.

Isaac Bangilizwe, a member of the mayoral committee, said: "The squad will be finally reduced to 30 later this year and that group will be sent to the Ekurhuleni Sports Academy."

Soccer legends, including Mike Ntombela, Meshack Mjanqeka, Joseph Mkhonza, Jerry Jumbe and Aaron Nkosi, had their hands full in selecting the provisional squad.