The 8th annual Pietermaritzburg High Schools’ Football Association Cup will be held this Friday, August 24 to Sunday, August 26 at Howick High School. Established in 2011, the tournament then featured just 8 boys’ schools.
In 2012 a girls’ section was included and the tournament now features a record total of 40 teams (20 boy’ teams, 20 girls’ teams) for this year’s event.
It is believed to be the biggest boys’ and girls’ weekend high schools tournament in the country.
Feature image: WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MY FRIENDS! 2017 winners Hilton College.
The tournament is primarily for high schools in the PMB and Midlands region, although teams are also invited to the popular tournament from outside this region.
The PMB FA Cup has become synonymous with bringing together boys and girls from various schools, backgrounds and cultures for a 3-day festival of football.
It has also provided an initial stage for a number of talented players to showcase their skill: Ryan Moon (Maritzburg College and Kaizer Chiefs, Bafana Bafana), Bandile Shandu (Maritzburg College and Maritzburg United), Brylon Petersen (Maritzburg College and Kaizer Chiefs), Ayren Bond (Maritzburg College and Mthatha City), Lungelo Msomi (Alex and Mthatha City), Qiniso Mahlaba (Alex and Mthatha City) have gone onto professional careers after playing in the tournament.
Maritzburg College Old Boy Ryan Moon of Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs still holds the top goalscorer record of 8 goals, scored in the 2013 edition.
Of the current crop, Costi Christodoulou (Hilton College & SA under 17 captain and goalkeeper) is expected to feature this year as Hilton attempts to defend the title they won last year.
As far as the cup winners go, the competitive nature of high schools football is evident by the fact that in the 7 years of the tournament, there have been 6 different winners of the boys’ section.
Only Alexandra High have been able to win the PMB FA Cup twice, back-to-back champs in 2012 and 2013.Interesting as well is the fact that neither the relatively strong Haythorne and Maritzburg College have their names inscribed on the trophy yet.In the girls section, Haythorne dominated a couple of years ago, winning the cup for 3 consecutive years but the last 2 have been won by Edendale Technical College.
PMB FA Cup Winners (Boys:
For this year’s tournament, the 20 teams in each boys/girls section have been divided into 4 groups of 5 teams each.
The top 2 in each group will progress to the Cup Division, 3rd and 4th placed teams into the Plate Division and the 5th placed teams into the Bowl Division.
The group stages will be played on Friday and Saturday, with the knockout games being played on Sunday.
The tournament kicks off at 11am on Friday, with the finals scheduled to take place at 3pm on Sunday.