Wits U-17s hope for strong run

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

It is all systems go for the eagerly anticipated Engen Under-17 Soccer Challenge that gets under way at Marks Park in Johannesburg tomorrow.

This yearly contest is hosted by Bidvest Wits.

Sixteen teams from around Gauteng will compete in the tournament that has been divided into four groups of four clubs each.

Dennis Tshabalala, tournament director, said the games will be played on a round-robin system with the top two teams in each stream advancing to the quarterfinals. The final takes place on Sunday.

"At Wits we have assembled a solid squad that is capable of doing well in the tourney. The boys are in fine tune after two weeks' rigorous training under the tutelage of coach Nizaam Mohammed," said Tshabalala.

He said his charges are raring to reverse last year's disappointing showing when they bowed out of the competition early.

The hosts won the cup on its inception in 2005 and Orlando Pirates took it last season.

Tomorrow's fixtures: SuperSport v Uniao; Wits v Mondeor Meteors; Sheffield v Sundowns; Mogale City XI v Kempton Park (all games kick off at 1.15pm).

Swallows v School of Excellence; University of Pretoria v ASYA; Pirates v Soweto Select XI; Southdowns v Chiefs (all matches start at 2.45pm).