18 June 2018 – Orion from Pixley-ka-Seme Region were crowned champions of the 2018 Northern Cape u17 Solar Youth tournament, bringing to an end an exciting period of thrilling football in this expansive Province.
The Solar Youth Cup, which is one of the biggest youth tournaments on the South African football calendar, and run with the backing of SAFA and their partner LaLiga, is sponsored by Sishen Solar Facility, Kathu Solar Park, Lesedi Power Project, Scatec Solar, Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Economic Development Solution and Loago Sports SA.
The finals in the diamond city of Kimberley saw a galaxy of football luminaries descending on this laid back town which was lit into action by this electrifying event.
Among those that witnessed great football on display were SAFA acting President, Ms Ria Ledwaba and several NEC members from the Province that included Ms Emma Hendricks, Gladwin White, Aubrey Baartman, David Bantu and Peter Manchonyane.
Also attending on the last day of the event was Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba.
The talent identifiers were not in short supply either as u17 coach Molefi Ntseki, Arthur Zwane and several other coaches came to witness what Northern Cape can offer. The SAFA Provincial Technical Officers Willem Klink and Lucinda Bower were also there to identify the future national team players.
And after marathon games that involved close to 200 teams, Orion were crowned champions in a close game against Olympics from Namaqua. The boys from De Aar pipped their neighbours 1-0 in a tightly contested final to walk away with a whopping R100 000 prize money plus a glittering trophy.
The losing finalists pocketed R50 000, while the third and fourth placed teams each walked away with R20 000 and R10 000 respectively.
Tournament organiser, Willy Motlogelwa said this year’s event marked bigger things to come from this sprawling Province as far as football talent identification is concerned.