The MultiChoice Diski Challenge has enjoyed a strong induction into South African football over the past few months, with players, clubs, fans and the all other stakeholders ensuring its arrival has surpassed expectations.
This according to Premier Soccer League (PSL) general manager Derek Blanckensee, who has hailed the tournament a success after the opening phase was completed in October.
Essentially a Reserve League, the inaugural competition is the first of its kind for South African football. There had never previously been a combined nationwide such league and the general consensus has been overwhelming.
“I think the response has been way more than we expected,” said Blanckensee.
“Both at the stadiums and on all the various media platforms the fans have expressed a lot of appreciation for the tournament.
“The clubs have all been extremely positive, as well as the various commentators on the game like the media, ex-players and so on.
“So everyone has really loved it,” he added.
The format saw the 16 Absa Premiership clubs split into two groups of eight and play each other in a single round format. That stage has now been completed with the top four in each group progressing to the quarter-finals, which will be played early next year.
The full quarter-final programme will take place at a yet-to-be announced venue on January 17. The four match-ups will see Bloemfontein Celtic face Mpumalanga Black Aces, Orlando Pirates play University of Pretoria, SuperSport United battle Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns take on Polokwane.
The winning team will receive a trophy, gold medals, a trip to Holland for a four-day training camp at the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and friendly games against Bundesliga opponents in Germany.