The best of the Eastern Cape were in Komani over the weekend jostling for the two spots of the ABC Motsepe League.
Eight teams from the province’s regions participated, Xalanga Celtics representing the Chris Hani region.
The teams were split into two groups – Bisho Stars, Amapondo, Try Again and Junior Chiefs in group A and Xalanga Celtics, PE Sundowns, Young Challengers and Bush Pirates in group B. They were grouped by toss-up and winners of each group would get automatic entry into the third-tier professional ABC Motsepe League.
The tournament was a wash out for the Chris Hani team, losing all its games in a group that had top competition. Bush Pirates from Addo were the eventual winners of the group after trouncing PE Sundowns 5-1 to leave them as runners up.
In group A, Bisho Stars ran roughshod over its competitors, winning all their games, even doling Junior Chiefs a 6-0 hiding. The team from Bisho returns back to the ABC league after only one season down. The coach, Chippa Njedu said: “We told ourselves to work hard. We wanted three points from every game. The work starts now however. We will be scouting players for the level we are going to.”
Isaac Klaas, secretary of Safa Eastern Cape said: “We congratulate both teams that qualified. I am personally happy for Sarah Baartman because no one gave them a chance. Having no team in the ABC Motsepe, this is an opportunity for them. We will assist them as far as we can.
“I am happy about the tournament. All the teams were disciplined. I must congratulate Safa Chris Hani as the hosts, they did well.
“There is an abundance of talent in the Eastern Cape. I am worried that our team, Chippa United, did not come here (to scout). But Sundows and Free State Stars were here which we appreciate because they help export our talent. I was also happy to see ABC Motsepe teams present. Both the qualifying teams made a statement.”
The Lady Frere-based Amavarara are still the only team from the Chris Hani region in the ABC Motsepe League.