By CHRIS TOTOBELA
Extension 7-based outfit and reigning Makana LFA U18 champions Sophia Young Stars are hard at work preparing for their trip to Gqebera.
This comes after a thrilling cup final encounter against Young Killers in the local U18 tournament which was held in May in a packed JD Dlepu stadium.
Luthango “Ronaldo” Mankayi scored a brilliant goal with only 15 minutes to go and earned his team the right to represent Makhanda in the provincial showpiece.
This Eastern Cape Engen under 18s tournament was supposed to take place in June but had to be postponed due to Covid-19.
Sophia will lock horns with the best teams in our province on Saturday 28 August in Gelvan field in PE. In the first game, they will come up against Highland Spark at 9 am. This 16-team event will be played on a knockout basis.
Club chairman Lindisipho Swaartbooi was pleased with the preparations: “We have done all that we could to make sure that our boys are ready for this tournament. The spirit in the camp is very high and everyone is focused on the task at hand. We know it will not be easy but we will give our all.”
The team received a much-needed boost when Pick n Pay sponsored them with golf shirts. Senior store manager Werner Pienaar wished them good luck and asked them to represent Makhanda with pride. He said he was pleased to be associated with the team of Sophia’s calibre.
Sophia is well known for its well-structured youth development and has proven to be the powerhouse in local youth football. Surely all football-loving people in Makhanda will be rallying behind them to bring the trophy home.