Picture: Mncedi Siphunzi
Above: Jubilant PPG Langa celebrating their Mid-section victory. Date: 17 April 2017
The prestigious Bayhill Premier Cup under 19 tournament recently came to an end as we witnessed Pretoria side Supersport United retain their title. The tournament serves as a platform for the country’s future stars to compete against each other at the highest junior level and also to discover new talent. Having seen teams from all over the country, it is worth noting that Project PlayGround (PPG) Langa proved to be a team heading in the right direction in terms of developing their youngsters.
We caught up with team official Raymond Pienaar who shared with us the team’s views on their progress in the competition. “It is always a privilege to participate in this tournament and expose our boys to the intensity and physicality that comes with it. This year was our third successive year qualifying to compete here and in both previous occasions we went out in the last 16 so our aim was to at least go beyond that this year and we achieved that,” he mentioned. PPG Langa was unfortunately knocked out of the winners section of the tournament in the quarter finals by eventual winners Supersport United who were simply outstanding in all their games.
The youngsters from Kwa Langa took the tournament as a learning curve and Raymond is adamant that his boys have grown in experience after the past week of football. He goes on to say: “In this tournament it was evident that our boys need to work on physique and conditioning. In some of the games we were simply outmuscled and that did not allow us to play the way we intended to. Having said that, I think we did well considering our lack of resources and that is something we are working towards improving as a team. We aim to ensure our boys from the location can have access to equipment and other resources that will assist in their development as footballers and give them the opportunity to attract bigger teams and play at the highest level.”
Gareth Ncaca’s young men did not walk away from the tournament empty handed. PPG Langa squared off against Cape Town rivals Glendene United and they came out 1 – 0 victors in the Mid-Section Finals and will surely be proud of that achievement.
Article by: Thulani Mkosi