U-17 squads ready for Knockout Challenge

Grassy Park United's Waseem George, right, loses his marker against Trinitarians AFC at the Kenpark u-23 tournament.

After beating Square Hill United 2-0 in Blue Downs, at the weekend, Grassy Park United booked their spot in next month’s under-17 Knockout Challenge, in Parow.

The boys in blue qualified for their fourth consecutive tournament.

The terrible weather could not stop Grassy Park from playing their normal attacking brand of football.

The brace from midfielder Zewhan Haas in the first half was enough for the boys in blue to seal the game.

Manager Cheswin Curtis said he was happy with his side’s performance because the plan was to make their intentions clear from the start of the match.

“It was not our best performance but considering the conditions I am happy with the result.

“I believe our chances that we took early in the game helped us settle down quickly.

“Defensively we had a good game, but we still have some things to improve before the tournament,” he said.

Curtis believed having a good squad for play-offs to a tournament is vital.

“You must be on your toes and ready for every game. You also need to be strong in all positions and have the necessary impact on players on the bench.

“The hard work for the competition starts now and I believe the experience of playing at the Knockout Challenge will help us,” he said.

Last month, they beat Bluegum United 2-1 in the first-round of play-offs that took place at the same venue.

Curtis said his side’s game against Bluegum United was tough and could have gone any way.

“The difference in the game was we took our chances and Bluegum did not.

“Our goalkeeper Mashkur Petersen made some vital saves to keep us in the game.

“Our striking force made all the difference by scoring two goals in the first half,” he said.

The side is a makeup of the under-16 and under-18 sides that play in the Cape District Football Association (CDFA).

“Both of these sides are having one of their best seasons in the CDLFA with the under-16s wining nine and losing one which sees them top of the log. While the under-18s are fifth on the log.

“Some of their players also played in the under-18 SAFA Coca Cola Cup round 256 which saw them beat South Park 5-0, at William Herbert, last weekend.

“The victory against South Park helped us a lot with confidence in terms of moving forward.

“We are getting good results and I hope we can do well in the next-round,” he said.

Last year, Grassy Park did not do too well in the under-17 Knock-Out Challenge.

Curtis believes they worked on last year’s mistakes and are looking forward to this year’s competition.

“We hope to stamp our authority on games and take our league form to the tournament. We are ready to be noticed this year,” he said.

* Meanwhile, Grassy Park United’s under-23 side were knocked out in the last round of 16 in the Arising Stars tournament losing 1-0 to runners up Trinitarians.

Manager Nazeem Witbooi said he was happy with the performance despite being knocked out so early in the competition.

“We hoped to do much better than this. Our preparations coming into the competition were spot on but we were not consistent enough and did not use our chances when we got the opportunity,” he said.