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Bidvest Wits Academy on the ball ahead of the Engen Knockout Challenge

The official draw of the Engen Knockout Challenge took place at Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown on 25 July 2017. The competition which started in 2013 takes the best of youth football and pits them against each other in what is always an action-packed, high performance race to the final trophy.

A tournament which promises to help U17 players get noticed by top scouts, the Engen Knockout Challenge is considered one of the the premier competitions for youth football. The competition pits 16 teams from five regions across South Africa against each other, making each game high stakes for every player.

Last year the young Clever Boys made it to the final, but fell short when Orlando Pirates scored in the penalty round.

Daine Klate, midfielder for the Clever Boys and a region ambassador for the Engen Knockout Challenge had this to say: “This tournament is really unearthing some talent and giving opportunities to players. The competition has grown in leaps and bounds, with many clubs signing players found in this tournament.”

This year’s draw sees the Bidvest Wits Academy in Group 1 alongside Wits Juniors, Southern LFA and Platinum Stars.

We caught up with Jamie Craak, who is the Engen Team Captain and played in the winning Old Mutual team in the last tournament, to get his thoughts on this year’s competition. “I’m really excited going into the tournament and also confident in our team’s preparation. This is my fourth Engen Cup, but my first time playing with Bidvest Wits – its definitely a tough competition but it would be a great pleasure to win for a second time and to help Bidvest Wits get the cup.”

See the groups below: