root - March 28, 2023

David Rossouw

Rayaan Alie made his debut at Tournament Director at the draw for the Bayhill Premier Cup 2023 at the Civic Centre Banquet Hall on the evening of 15 March, where players, visitors, and dignitaries were greeted in Cape style by the Ashwin Willemse Orient Community Development Marching Band.

Alie paid tribute to his predecessor PJ Williams, as well as long-time executive tournament members, notably Martin Eckard, who died only days before the final qualifying matches at William Herbert in Wynberg on Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12.

A memorial candle was lit in honor of Eckard’s efforts as a football administrator, and everyone present observed a respectful minute of silence.

Keynote speaker Jerome Damon, Bridgetown’s FIFA World Cup referee who has risen to become one of FIFA’s best referees and a household figure among football lovers despite never having played a match in his life, motivated and inspired participants by encouraging them to put aside their circumstances and focus on what is important to them.

Damon is now a FIFA training facilitator, instructing referees and technical personnel. 

“You can do it too if you believe in yourself and pursue your dreams,” he said. 

His message was about legends, and he believes a legend achieves their title by working hard and in a  team. “That is where legends are born,” he said.

Two football legends who stood out for him during his time were South African professional football manager and former player Pitso Mosimane, and Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi.

City of Cape Town acting recreation and parks director Nabeel Bassadien advised players to remain humble and grounded as their brilliance emerged. “Don’t be deceived by riches because I have seen many stars fall, internationally, nationally and locally,” said Bassadien.

Provincial community safety and police oversight minister Reagan Allen said he was “committed to creating a safe environment where our young people can reach their greatest potential and (be) an opportunity of hope for others”.

After the formalities, the draw for all teams participating in the 2023 Bayhill Premier Cup began.

Dunoon YSA (DYSA) and Jomo’s Power drew Group B, the group of death, which may just be the nudge DYSA’s Sandisele “Junior” Sino and Jomo’s Power’s Allesandro Kotze teams and members need to to bring out the best in them.

They will not only take part in the biggest u.19 competition but also against the best u.19 teams in the country and internationally.

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