The South African Schools Football Association’s inter-regional tournament kicked off at the Solo Street sportsfields, in Steenberg, on Friday July 29.
Sixteen under-19 boys’ and eight girls’ teams representing various school districts are taking part in the competition.
Matches will be played every Friday until August 19 at various venues. The next round of fixtures will take place at the Lentegeur sports complex, in Mitchell’s Plain on Friday August 5 followed by Symphony Park, in Belhar, on Friday August 12. The finals will take place on Friday August 19, at Khayelitsha’s Site C stadium.
In boys’ matches, Groenvlei and Steenberg played to a 1-all draw while Belgravia High and Ocean View concluded their clash by the same margin in their sides’ respective opening fixtures.
Meanwhile, an inspired performance by Cape District-based Spurs Women’s FC midfielder Jamie-Lee Witbooi, 19, helped Ravensmead High School’s girls’ team beat Strand’s Nomzamo High School 3-0 in their opening fixture.
Witbooi, who captained the side, was brilliant in the midfield causing all sorts of problems for her opponents.
Scores were deadlocked at the interval, with Witbooi creating a number of chances for her side but they could just not finish.
However, three goals in the second half, coming from the boots of Danideon Sampies, Meka Hartnick and Witbooi herself, were enough to see them bag three points.
The midfielder said her side did well in their opening game of the Sasfa tournament but believes there is still room for improvement.
“We won convincingly but could have done much better. We need to improve on our tackles and passing. I am proud of the squad because we played until the final whistle,” she said.
Witbooi hopes her side can continue their winning streak in order to be among the medallists, come the end of the competition.
“Our main goal is to do well at the tournament. Also to learn from how other teams play in order to improve on our game,” she said.
Witbooi is no stranger to major competitions as she was part of the South African under-20 squad that lost 3-1 on aggregate to Nigeria, in the final-round of world cup qualification, last year. She made her debut for SA, in October, when her side beat Zambia 3-2 in a world cup qualifier.
Her journey to the SA side began a few months earlier, when she was part of the Western Cape under-19 women’s team that won the inter-provincial tournament, in Gauteng.
At that competition there were scouts from the South African women’s under-20 team who saw how well she performed.
Later that week Spurs Women’s FC coach, Winston Zeederberg informed her that she made the side.
“I grew up in a household that watched soccer all the time. Before I got my call up I always told my family that someday I will be on your television screens representing the country. When I got my call-up I was nervous but excited,” she said.