Ekurhuleni hosts young stars

THE City of Ekurhuleni will host the second edition of the Copa Coca-Cola Football Stars Inter-Africa tournament at Germiston Sports Centre from Saturday until June 10.

The tournament was officially launched on Sunday at the plush Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg and the draw will be conducted at the same venue on Friday.

The event brings together the best youngsters in Africa to develop the soccer skills of its future stars.

Defending champions Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Namibia and hosts South Africa will be among the 19 teams who will take part in the tournament.

The home side's formidable team, which will be coached by Pitso Mokoena, was mainly selected from the top three schools from the finals of the local leg of the competition in Alexandra last month. The schools are champions Johannesburg Secondary, Seiphemelo from North West and Harmony from Free State. Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Helman Mkhalele, Noel Cousin, Papi Khomane and Grant Johnson were part of the selection panel.

The tournament earned high praise from Safa president Kirsten Nematandani, who called it "a shining example of how Coca-Cola and Safa collectively aim to develop the youth of South Africa through football".

SA team: Clive Moruri, Seun Ledwaba, Daniel Motshabi, Themba Shai, Sanele Mkhize (Seiphemelo), Thuto Ramaili, Mata Makeng, Zika Mnguni, Thomas Nyathi, Lehlohonolo Mokoena (Harmony), Kamogelo Ratali, Mbongeni Gumede, Khomotso Serubaruba, Innocent Maela (Johannesburg Secondary), Siyambonga Mbizela (Rubusana High) and Miguel Timm (Mondeor High).