Talent galore at Copa Cup

THE Coca-Cola Copa Cup is one of the best platforms to identify new talent in soccer, said one of the graduates of this development tournament, Happy Jele.

The Orlando Pirates star has applauded the South African Schools Football Association (Sasfa) and the soft drink company for using this event to fast-track development.

"There is no way we will be able to produce quality players for Bafana Bafana and other national teams if we do not prioritise development. Some of us are products of this tournament," Jele said.

Coca-Cola has signed a new R4-million sponsorship with Sasfa to sponsor the tournament, which caters for the under-15s.

It was introduced by the Sasfa leadership seven years ago with an estimated 3500 schools across the country participating.

Besides Jele, other graduates include Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Mandla Masango (Kaizer Chiefs), Thabiso Nkoane and Ronwen Williams (both of SuperSport United).

Sasfa president Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko said: "We are happy that Premier Soccer League clubs are using the tournament to scout for new talent."

Mazibuko, who is also the Safa deputy president, said the national finals will be played in Cape Town from October 10 to 13.

Provincial eliminations are under way.

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