The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup that will kick off on 29 July has a proud graduate in Bidvest Wits midfielder Thabang Monare.

The midfielder, who recently won the Premiership title with Bidvest Wits, has described the competition that will start in his home province of Mpumalanga at the Kanyamazane Stadium as the best schools competition he has ever played in.

Monare, who is 27 years old, was born in Embalenhle and represented Osizweni Secondary School between 2005 and 2006.

“The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has to be the most professional and best school’s tournament I have ever played in. It offered so much and we were always excited to play it. I had always loved football but I seemed to have this whole new excitement when this tournament came,” Monare said.

“I think it is because we learnt a lot. We played against schools from far and we also travelled to many places to play. That introduced us to people of different cultures and we also made friends everywhere. For me, that was a competition that made me fall in love with the idea of professional football as everything was so professional. I am happy to realize that the competition is still going strong, producing good players for the future,” the Bidvest Wits midfielder said.

At Wits, Monare is not the only player to have played the competition, as his teammate Jabulani Shongwe also played it.

Schools who will be participating in this year’s competition will be fighting it out for the majestic trophy and R1 Million prize money that was claimed by Clapham High School, who have now won the competition back to back in two different years.

The Kay Motsepe Schools Football Cup has been in operation for the last 10 years and is regarded as having the largest prize money in the world for school’s football; with the winning school receiving R1 million from a total annual prize money of R3.4 million.

The school that comes second receives prize money of R600 000 and the school the finishes in third place gets prize money of R400 000.

The schools that win the competition in each of the nine provinces of South Africa a receive prize money of R100 000 each.

The National Championships are scheduled to take place in KwaZulu-Natal in October.