South Africa’s under 17 women’s national team coach and former Banyana Banyana player Simphiwe Dludlu is pleased with the initiative that VW has made for South African youth players. She believes this tournament will set a bench marker for the future of the players, also it will hugely assist coaches and scouts to have access to witness these talented players from a tender age.
For the first time, 24 teams in the country battled it out for the inaugural VW Vaya Cup soccer tournament. Bidvest McCarthy VW Constantia ladies’ team and the boys’ team from Lindsay Saker Midrand managed to overcome all the odds as they walk away victorious in their respective divisions.
This tournament served as an opportunity to contribute to strengthening women’s and men’s football from the grassroots level. The tournament has served as a framework to upskill the youngsters in the country and to prepare them for the professional level.
“It’s important that VW decided to bring girls on board in this tournament and the importance of that is, when we find them at these tournaments, they are already exposed to playing in well-established tournaments. They are exposed to playing competitively where there are fans, and proper referees that are officiating the matches, and for us in the national teams, this tournament is a tracking device because we are able to find players from 12- 13 years old playing in these tournaments,” she said at the VW Vaya Cup.
The two winning teams will be heading to train with former UEFA Champions League winners Porto in Portugal. The tournament has opened a whole new opportunity for South African talent to not only be scouted for the national team setup but also get the chance to be scouted internationally and join the likes of Banyana Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk, Refiloe Jane, Thembi Kgatlana and Lebohang Ramalepe who are playing their football overseas.