Mamelodi Sundowns youngsters eyeing success in inaugural VW Vaya Cup tournament

Mamelodi Sundowns’ youth development side will be aiming to put up a dominant showing as the inaugural edition of the Volkswagen (VW) Vaya Cup soccer tournament gets underway at the University of Witwatersrand.

The three-day event which runs from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th of December will feature eight under-16 girls’ soccer teams and 16 under-13 boys’ soccer teams vying for top honours.

Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Rhoda Mulaudzi and Andile Dlamini will be taking charge of the Sundowns youth development side which features hot prospects – Lumka Qhekeka and Sphesihle Magazi.

Lumka famously bagged a superb brace on her Hollywoodbets Super League debut against Tsunami Queens last year at the tender age of 15 years. The youngster who played a part in Sundowns Ladies’ Hollywoodbets Super League triumph is looking forward to the Vaya Cup tournament.

“I am excited about the VW Vaya Cup because it is an opportunity to showcase some of the lessons I have gained while playing with older members of the Sundowns Ladies. The team spirit and atmosphere in camp is amazing and the coaches have been very helpful in settling our nerves. I feel blessed to be able to learn from the hugely experienced players and I cannot wait to make them proud,” Qhekeka stated.

Sphesihle who also played several league games during the just concluded season is relishing the opportunity to show her leadership qualities as a vice-captain.

“I cannot wait to implement the knowledge I have gained while playing in the Hollywoodbets Super League. I expect a very competitive tournament and it will be refreshing to play with my peers. It is also a privilege to be named vice-captain of the team. To be coached by highly experienced players who possess ample experience from playing overseas as well as in South Africa means so much to me,” said Magazi.

Katlego Malebane who featured as one of the ball girls at the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations final which South Africa won against Morocco expressed her excitement about being named captain.

“It is a privilege to be named as skipper of the team ahead of the competition and I am eagerly looking forward to the tournament. We are very confident of our chances and the coaches have been very supportive in educating and encouraging us. To be coached by these legends is a dream come true because they have experienced high-pressure moments on several occasions,” said Malebane.

Matobane Moshugi who has been training with the Sundowns Ladies team in the past few months cannot wait to compete against other teams, “On a personal level, I am excited and cannot wait to showcase my talent. I believe this will be the biggest opportunity for me and my teammates to show that Sundowns Ladies juniors can replicate the successes that have been enjoyed by the Senior Ladies Team and the First Team. I cannot wait to test myself against the teams that will be competing at the VW tournament. I feel blessed and grateful to be coached and mentored by the great coaches who happen to be my role models. We are all fired up for the tournament.”

The winner of this year’s inaugural tournament will secure the coveted VW Vaya Cup as well as team prizes. The winning girls and boys team will also attend a bespoke international training camp in 2023 sponsored by Volkswagen.