Tournament Director Iqbal Kasker spoke exclusively to CapeTownFootball about their exciting youth tournament
Following the appointment of current Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, the South African Football Association have placed an enormous amount of emphasis on youth football, whilst promoting talented youngsters.
With the long term vision in mind, Mashaba has given various youngsters an opportunity to don the National team jersey, with the most notable ones being Rivaldo Coetzee and Fagrie Lakay.
With youth development being the hype around football in the country, Salt River Blackpool stepped up and took it all the way to grassroots level with a junior 7-a-side tournament. The event will run over three days, with 48 teams participating, covering the age groups of under-7, under-9 and under-11.
“We looked at where best we can add value to play at development, that is when we decided we were going right down to grassroots level,” tournament director Iqbal Kasker told CapeTownFootball.
“The idea was always to create an event in a safe environment where the focus will be mainly on enjoyment and fun.
“At this point in time we going to look at just three age groups, because we going to have four courts on one normal football size field. Obviously to extend, we going to need to move to two or more football fields. So for now, I think three age groups will be the maximum,” he added.
Kasker also clarified that there were no prize money involved for the winners, but that the aim was to promote youth development in a fun environment. Despite having no financial rewards to participating clubs, Kasker said he had no challenges in getting clubs involved and that he has clubs on standby in case of any last minute withdrawals.
“The important thing that we want to promote is youth football and growth. There is no prize money,” he said.
“Winners of the tournament will get a floating trophy and medals. The runners up will get medals, and the plate section will also get a trophy.
“Buco will be sponsoring a trophy for the team of the tournament, which will be judged on discipline, punctuality and the most organized club who will win the team of the tournament.
“Then there’s the individual awards like the player of the tournament, goalkeeper of the tournament and even the coach of the tournament,” he added.