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Mamelodi Sundowns – Time to live up to expectations | GDL Youth Cup

By Ongama Gcwabe , in Football | News , at 2023-11-30 Tags:

Who would’ve thought that a team that plays outside of the highly regarded Gauteng Development League (GDL) would make it this far? NWU Vaal u19s have defied the odds to reach the semifinals of the GDL Youth Cup, where they have been drawn to take on Mamelodi Sundowns.

Not so long ago, Sundowns were dominating the football space in almost all divisions, including in South Africa’s highest league, the Premier Soccer League’s DStv Premiership.

The “Kabo Yellow” franchise is known for its high standards, not only in the professional football space, but also at the grassroots level. Rulani Mokoena, the current Mamelodi Sundowns’ senior team coach, was once in charge of the u19 team and it is there that Mokoena learnt and implemented his high standards.

Since then, the Pretoria-based club has returned positive results in the junior ranks, but not quite at the same level as when Mokoena was leading the way.

In the u19 division of the 2023 Gauteng Development League, Sundowns produced a strong season, but still suffered five losses in their 34 matches, including to the champions, Highlands Park, and to TS Galaxy, who finished seventh.

Placing second in the eight-month-long league, with a positive goal difference of 62 was no mean feat, but at Sundowns the expectations are higher than at any other club in the country. The goal, always, is to be champions.

Now they have an opportunity to lay their hands on a trophy, but first they must tackle the underdogs, the NWU Vaal u19s, at Marks Park at 13:00 SAST on Saturday for a place in the final.

Sundowns saw off a strong Tuks u19 team in the quarterfinals this past weekend, while NWU Vaal performed superbly to oust the School of Excellence u19s.

The Brazilians are favoured to advance. However, knockout competitions are anything but predictable.

FIXTURES

U13 Division, 9:00
– Jomo Cosmos vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Field A)
– Kaizer Chiefs vs Joburg City (Field B)

U15 Division, 10:15 
– Jomo Cosmos vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Field A)
– Rosina Modiba vs TS Galaxy (Field B)

U17 Division, 11:30 
– School of Excellence vs TUKS (Field A)
– Kaizer Chiefs vs Joburg City (Field B)

U19 Division, 13:00
– NWU Vaal vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Field A)
– Kaizer Chiefs vs TS Galaxy (Field B)

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.