NEDBANK CUP CELEBRATES TEN YEARS OF MAKING AN IMPACT
The tournament has been the launchpad for teams like Baroka FC who rose from being an unknown third-tier side that beat Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs in 2011 and continued to rise year after year to a point where they made it to the semi-finals in 2016 and are currently playing in the PSL. This tournament also guarantees the winner entry to the continental CAF Confederation Cup. With the prize money of R 7 million and a guaranteed R100 000 for the lower league teams that qualify for the last 32, the tournament not only provides much needed funding for some of the struggling sides, it also inspires players by giving them a chance to showcase their talent and gain valuable top-flight football experience.
Premier Soccer League (PSL) acting Chief Executive, Mato Madlala said: “The last 10 years have brought the PSL and Nedbank closer and we would like to believe that this has been a mutually benefiting relationship. At the heart of the Nedbank Cup is the desire to give opportunities to aspiring individuals from amateur clubs to showcase their talent and change their lives. The Premier Soccer League has, for years, been at the centre of the rags to riches story in South Africa. It is therefore only natural that this relationship between the League and Nedbank has thrived over the years. We look forward to another exciting phase of this relationship.”
To expand its impact, the Nedbank Cup has a sports developmental arm through the highly awarded Nedbank Cup Ke Yona Team Search, which has gone across the country and unearthed more than fifteen professional footballers amongst them Aubrey Modiba who is now the reigning Premier Soccer League Young Player of the Season, a Bafana Bafana international and a member of Team South Africa’s Men’s Olympic Football team. Entries for the 2017 Ke Yona Team search try-outs opened to night. To register, dial *120*539662#
Through the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search Ring of Steel element, the bank uses football to educate the players and demonstrate sound financial and lifestyle management. The Ke Yona graduates now have access to an esteemed panel of experts in financial planning, health fitness and nutrition, media training and even style, to enable them to score the goal of carving out a long and prosperous soccer career. “Football is a lot like managing your finances. You must have a goal, be committed, work hard to attain it, and find the right team to work with to enable you to realise that goal. The tips and training provided to these players can be used by anyone to achieve their financial goals” added Sibeko.
Working with the Sports Trust, the Nedbank Cup has provided three schools with state of the art, multi-purpose sports courts while 500 other schools have received soccer kits and training equipment, at an investment of more than R 5 million. The more Nedbank clients choose the Sports Affinity account, the more the bank is able to contribute to sports development, at no cost to the client.