“While we are disappointed at not having progressed further, we are honoured to have been able to participate in the Bayhill Premier Cup. The key for us going forward into other tournaments is to make sure we focus on consistent performance throughout and to maintain good form,” said Caesar Maphalla, coach of the Bidvest Wits under 19 team.
The Bayhill Premier Cup, as we know it today, started out as an under 19 knock-out competition known as the Bayhill Cup and has steadily grown into one of the world’s most prestigious junior tournaments.
Some of the country’s most talented players took part in this years’ tournament in hopes of being scouted by South Africa’s most prestigious top flight clubs and managers.
A number of PSL and Bafana Bafana regulars all got their start in this tournament. Players like Benni McCarthy, Shaun Permall, Ayanda Patosi, Thulani Serero and The Clever Boys’ very own Moeneeb Josephs.
“The players in our academy are already naturally skilled and talented. Our job as coaches is to prepare them mentally, tactically and physically to seamlessly fit into our first team and the PSL structures. What is great about tournaments such as the Bayhill Premier Cup is that the players are exposed to different teams and different styles of football which make them more versatile and prepare them for the higher football structures,” said Coach Ceasar.
A number of match officials have used the Bay Hill Premier Cup as a stepping-stone to go on to better things. Top PSL referee, Jerome Damon, immediately springs to mind, while the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim and Nicky Haupt also graced the competition.
A total of 32 teams participated in the group stage, which consists of 8 groups of 4 teams each. Teams were seeded according to their previous performance and whether they are an established PSL team or not.
This is how Bidvest Wits preformed in the tournament:
Bidvest Wits 2 -1 Old Mutual Academy
Bidvest Wits 0 – 0 Shumba FootBall Club
Bidvest Wits 3 – Greenwood Athletic
Bidvest Wits 1 – 0 Highlands Park
Bidvest Wits 0 – 1 Orlando Pirates